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Rory McIlroy says a volunteer stepped on his ball at Torrey Pines

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SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Rory McIlroy is making his first visit to the Waste Management Phoenix Open but his pre-tournament media session on Wednesday eventually turned to an incident four days ago at the Farmers Insurance Open.

Discussion of last Saturday’s third round at Torrey Pines was dominated by embedded balls moreso than the birdies and bogeys. Patrick Reed’s embedded-ball situation drove the bulk of the chatter but McIlroy had a similar deal as both golfer’s balls had bounced in thick rough and both were then deemed to have been embedded.

On Wednesday at TPC Scottsdale, McIlroy, when first asked about his social-media presence, then redirected the discussion to explain that he received information on Monday about what had happened.

“So what’s came to light is. … on 18, as we were searching for my ball. … well, it wasn’t apparent at the time, but an email was sent to the Tour on Monday saying my ball was stepped on to be found, but the volunteer didn’t tell me that on Saturday.

“So that’s why I took embedded ball relief, because it was an embedded ball, but I didn’t know it had been stepped on.”

At least in McIlroy’s situation, that would explain why his ball embedded after it clearly bounced.

“I don’t feel anyone played fast or loose with the rules,” McIlroy said. “I went to bed Sunday night sort of questioning whether I had done the right thing after seeing the video.”

McIlroy said had he known his ball was stepped on, he would’ve proceeded differently, by placing the ball instead of dropping it. But as he said, he didn’t have that information at the time.

“I feel like I sort of got a free pass because of my reputation rather than my actions,” he said. “I’m glad that my actions were the right thing to do as well.”

original article link https://golfweek.usatoday.com/2021/02/03/rory-mcilroy-volunteer-embedded-ball-torrey-pines/

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