Rory McIlroy fails to escape from pond, makes disastrous triple bogey: WATCH

Rory McIlroy stands in pond at 2024 Cognizant Classic as golf ball roles into water

Rory McIlroy sturggled to get his ball out of a pond on Saturday at the Cognizant Classi.c

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Things were starting to look pretty good for Rory McIlroy on Saturday at the 2024 Cognizant Classic, that is until a disastrous escape attempt from a pond brought his round crashing down.

Arriving at PGA National’s par-4 16th Saturday evening in the third round, McIlroy sat at nine under, three shots back and close enough to put a scare in the leaders.

He then perfectly positioned his drive in the center of the fairway, just before a large pond that guarded the 16th green.

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With 179 yards to go, McIlroy was in prime position to go for the flag. But when he took a swing with his chosen short iron, his ball darted off to the right, finishing out of view of TV cameras but dangerously close to the water.

When he arrived to see it for himself, McIlroy found his ball sitting in a couple inches of water on the edge of the pond, the top of the ball just peeking above the surface.

That’s when Rory made a bad situation worse. Instead of taking a drop and the ensuing penalty stroke, he methodically removed his right golf shoe, followed by his sock, and then he set up to his ball with his right foot in the water.

The decision backfired, quite literally. McIlroy took a mighty thwack at his ball, but slo-mo replay showed his club cutting through the water well underneath it, sending a huge splash of mud and water into the air in front of him.

As for his ball, it flew into the air too, but it fell just a few feet in front of McIlroy, and he could only throw up his hand and watch as it rolled back into the pond. Check it out below.

At this point, the four-time major champion took a penalty and made a drop, which is what he probably wished he’d done the first time.

From there, Rory chipped on and putted out for a triple-bogey 7, dropping him to six under for the tournament and out of contention for the time being.

He was able to add a birdie at the closing hole, but eventually McIlroy signed for a one-over 72. It will require a huge performance to get back into contention on Sunday.

Kevin Cunningham

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