A day after Rory McIlroy’s 27th birthday, a fan at the Wells Fargo Championship had a weird gift for him Thursday – along with playing partners Rickie Fowler and Hideki Matsuyama.
A male fan watching near the No. 6 tee during Thursday’s first round tossed a golf ball with an ear bud attached to it on to the tee box after McIlroy hit.
The fan claimed the ball was a gift before security removed him the grounds at Quail Hollow Club.
“Yeah, it was sort of weird. That’s never really happened to me before,” McIlroy said. “It was a golf ball with an ear plug stuck on it, so it was sort of strange. Charlotte’s finest sorted it out and got him off the property, thankfully.”
A tournament official said the fan was escorted out because he was disrupting play, but was not arrested.
McIlroy birdied the par-3 hole for the second of three consecutive birdies to help the two-time champion finish at 1 over for the day. Fowler and Matsuyama both made par after the strange development.
“I was getting ready to go up on the tee and a ball flew over from the left side,” Fowler said. “Didn’t really know what it was. It looked like a golf ball, something was attached to it, later finding out it was an earplug.
“So random. The guy tried to say it was a gift. I don’t know why you would give a gift of a golf ball with an earplug attached to it. So, yeah, luckily we made two 3s and Rory made a good 2 and kept playing.”