Tiger Woods' old coach defends Rory McIlroy over 'cheating' accusations

Rory McIlroy was accused of taking an illegal drop at the US Open and Tiger Woods' ex coach has leapt to the defence of the PGA Tour star.

Ben Smith's picture
Wed, 21 Jun 2023
Tiger Woods' old coach defends Rory McIlroy over 'cheating' accusations

Tiger Woods' former coach Hank Haney has defended Rory McIlroy after he was accused of taking illegal drops in 2023. 

@LIVGolfNation put McIlroy, 34, under the spotlight and accused the Ulsterman of taking an illegal drop on the DP World Tour on his way to defeating his arch rival Patrick Reed at the Dubai Desert Classic in January. 

You'll remember this the time where Reed flicked a 4 Aces-branded LIV Golf tee in McIlroy's direction as the Northern Irishman deliberately blanked his former Ryder Cup nemesis on the driving range. 

And the account has also accused McIlroy of taking an 'illegal drop' during the recent US Open at Los Angeles Country Club. 

McIlroy tasted major heartbreak once again after being edged out by Wyndham Clark. It was a case of déjà vu for McIlroy as, much like the 150th Open Championship at St. Andrews, he struck the ball supremely well off the tee and was decent with his irons but was left to rue a cold putter. 

Wrote @LIVGolfNation:

"Rory McIlroy is a cheater. He took an illegal drop at Dubai and won the tournament as a result. He took another illegal drop at LACC and finished with a solo 2nd finish as a result. Almost any other player would have been penalized in both situations."

Of course, these are serious allegations and there were quite a few who took the time to respond. 

Haney was one of those who took the time to offer his thoughts. 

The coach worked with the big cat between 2004-2010, a period where Woods won six major championships and the coveted Players at TPC Sawgrass on the PGA Tour. 

Another person also leaping to the defence of McIlroy was the brutally honest LIV Golf player Harold Varner III. 

He wrote:

"It was a proper drop. Those were the rules and I somehow was watching and can't seem to find anything wrong. But opinions are like buttholes. Everyone has one."

McIlroy is back in PGA Tour action at the Travelers Championship this week at TPC River Highlands. 

We have already taken a look at the field and here are our picks for who we believe will do well as part of our GolfMagic Fantasy game in association with Callaway. 

See our picks here

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