Watch Rory McIlroy's OUTRAGEOUS (!) par save at The Open: "He's doing pilates"

Rory McIlroy produced a sensational bunker shot to card a level par opening round of the 151st Open Championship at Royal Liverpool. 

Ben Smith's picture
Thu, 20 Jul 2023
Watch Rory McIlroy's OUTRAGEOUS (!) par save at The Open: "He's doing pilates"

Rory McIlroy found himself five strokes off the lead after the first round of The Open Championship.

McIlroy, 34, carded an opening round of level par 71 at Royal Liverpool on Thursday, which included three birdies and three bogeys

South African amateur Christo Lamprecht and England's Tommy Fleetwood were the early pace setters, both posting 5-under par 66s at Hoylake. 

The defending champion, Cameron Smith, was six back after his 72, but the Australian was over par through 18 holes at St. Andrews last July. 

McIlroy's good work threatened to unravel after he found the greenside bunker at the 18th hole. 

Faced with a tricky lie, the Northern Irishman tried to play out sideways but his TP5x remained in the bunker after an almighty swipe. 

Threatened with the prospect of racking up a big score, McIlroy composed himself and eventually made a sensational up and down to save par. 

There was thunderous applause as the golf ball rolled into the centre of the cup. McIlroy showed his emotions immediately after. 


He told the media:

"Yeah, I wouldn't have been too happy walking off the 18th with a bogey, especially after the two shots I hit in there. 
"When you hit it into these bunkers, you're sort of riding your luck at that point and hoping it's not up against one of those revetted faces. 
"I mean Jon [Rahm] and I didn't have much of a shot with our thirds, so then you're just hoping to make par somehow and then get out of there."

McIlroy added that having been 2-over after 12 holes he was pleased to bring his score back to even par.

He continued:

"I didn't really get it going on the front nine. I was missing a few putts and I missed that little one on the eighth hole.
"I had a good chance to get it back at nine. I hit a good putt but I just didn't read it right. 
"Hopefully I've got my eye in now and I can build on that over the new few days." 

Scroll down... 

McIlroy was playing alongside Jon Rahm and former World No. 1 Justin Rose, who both posted rounds of 74. 

Patrick Cantlay, Brooks Koepka, Xander Schauffele and Hideki Matsuyama posted rounds of 70. 

The surprise of the day came in the form of Justin Thomas, who carded a dismal opening round of 82. 

Thomas sits T-144th in the 156-man field. 

Open Championship 2023 info:

More GolfMagic articles from the 2023 Open Championship

Watched our latest YouTube video?