‘There’s a lot of head shaking going on:’ Rory McIlroy fires shot into woods

Rory McIlroy on Friday after his second shot on the 10th hole at Augusta National.


Rory McIlroy needed his dad’s leg again. 

The four-time major champ, from an awkward sidehill lie on the 495-yard, par-4 10th at Augusta National, hit his second shot during Friday’s second round of the Masters. After one second, he released his right hand from the iron on his follow-through. His ball came out hot, low and right, and it went deep into the trees.

“Uh oh,” analyst Nick Faldo said on the ESPN broadcast. 

“Look at this,” announcer Jim Nantz said.  

“And he’s … that’s … probably,” Faldo said.  

“That caught a little bit of hosel and a lot of tree,” analyst Dottie Pepper said. 

It did, and it did. 

McIlroy, to his defense, caught a bad break after his tee shot went about 265 yards, rolled about 5, then suddenly stopped on the normally slippery downslope. He’d hit a provisional, and the mulligan traveled to within 81 feet of the hole. And straight. 

“What happened to the tee shot, Dottie?” Faldo asked. “It didn’t go down the hill.” 

“Nick, I have no explanation for why that ball stood up on the hill,” Pepper said. “There’s a lot of head shaking going on. That was a brutal stance.”

A day earlier, McIlroy rocketed a shot right during the first round, only for the ball to hit his dad, Gerry, also a spectator, in the leg. On Friday on 10, the younger McIlroy wouldn’t find his first ball, as he, playing partners Jon Rahm, Xander Schauffele, caddies and officials went digging for it in the woods. He’d take the penalty and finish with a double-bogey 6. 

“Make sure they come out with everybody they went in,” Pepper said on the broadcast as the search party exited the trees. 

Nick Piastowski

Nick Piastowski

Golf.com Editor

Nick Piastowski is a Senior Editor at Golf.com and Golf Magazine. In his role, he is responsible for editing, writing and developing stories across the golf space. And when he’s not writing about ways to hit the golf ball farther and straighter, the Milwaukee native is probably playing the game, hitting the ball left, right and short, and drinking a cold beer to wash away his score. You can reach out to him about any of these topics — his stories, his game or his beers — at nick.piastowski@golf.com.