Rory McIlroy has revealed what he did with his hole-in-one ball on Thursday, and the answer will probably surprise you.
The tournament has designated event status for the 2022-23 season, meaning it has a lucrative purse of $20m, and top players like McIlroy are expected to attend.
Despite coming off of a nearly good enough week at the Los Angeles Country Club, the Northern Irishman had a tough start to his round on Thursday in Connecticut.
He had made just one birdie and two bogeys through his first five holes on a day where two different players had a shot at 59.
But then things changed drastically for McIlroy as he and his group approached the 214-yard par-3 8th at TPC River Highlands.
Using a 5-iron, the 34-year-old hit a perfect shot that rolled into the cup for his first ace on the PGA Tour after playing 3,253 par-3s.
"Yeah, 5-iron to 115 yards slightly back into the wind off the right. And, yeah, as hole in ones go, I've had them in the past where it has been like an okay shot and you get a little lucky. That was the best shot of the day that I hit," McIlroy told reporters following his round. "Obviously a bonus for it to go in the hole, but it was really cool.
However, what the World No. 3 did with the ball afterwards will probably shock you.
"Threw it away," he told reporters, adding:
McIlroy made two consecutive birdies after his ace, but ultimately carded a 2-under 68 that was only good enough for a tie for 46th after 18 holes.
He was eight strokes back of first-round leader Denny McCarthy at 10-under par.