Rory McIlroy gets MASSIVE break en route to solid start at Wells Fargo

After taking a month off following The Masters, Rory McIlroy received a massive break at the PGA Tour's Wells Fargo Championship. 

Lara Kuipers's picture
Thu, 4 May 2023
Rory McIlroy gets MASSIVE break en route to solid start at Wells Fargo

Rory McIlroy was given the ultimate golf birthday gift on Thursday as he received an incredibly lucky break during the first round of the Wells Fargo Championship. 

McIlroy was playing for the first time on the PGA Tour in nearly a month, after he took a short break following a missed cut at The Masters where he shot rounds of 72 and 77. 

He opted to skip the RBC Heritage in Hilton Head the week following, which also resulted in a massive fine from PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan.

Related: Tour boss confirms HEAVY Rory McIlroy fine: "Beauty of PGA Tour model"

It was the Northern Irishman's second missed designated event this season, which top players are only allowed to miss one. 

This week's tournament, the Wells Fargo Championship, is being hosted at Quail Hollow Club in North Carolina. 

McIlroy won his first career PGA Tour event at Quail Hollow in 2010. He's also won it twice since it changed its name to the Wells Fargo Championship.

On Thursday, he tee'd off for the opening round of the tournament as he celebrated his 34th birthday. 

McIlroy was a part of the early wave, and fired a 3-under par 68 that was two strokes back of the leaders mid-way through the round. 

But he got there with a bit of help from an incredibly lucky break at the par-3 4th. 

McIlroy was playing in a group with Matt Fitzpatrick and Jason Day. Day recently revealed he was battling vertigo during The Masters. They began their rounds on the back nine. 

Related: Jason Day reveals vertigo 'really kicked my butt' at The Masters

Fitzpatrick's ball was already within two feet of the hole, safely on the green, when McIlroy hit his tee shot.

His ball was coming in with plenty of speed on the green when it was saved by rolling into Fitzpatrick's ball. It stopped five feet of the pin. 

The lucky break resulted in a tap-in birthday birdie for McIlroy. He had one bogey and three other birdies en route to the 68. 

England's Tommy Fleetwood ended up being the clubhouse leader on day one at 6-under par.

McIlroy is three shots back after R1. 

Defending champion Max Homa was in at 1-under par. 

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