Rory McIlroy fractured a PGA worker's hand with a wayward shot during his otherwise superb opening round at the 150th Open. Charlie Kane, who provides social media services for the American tour, published pictures of his painful-looking injury, which required hospital treatment.
"Fractured hand after Rory McIlroy’s drive landed on my knuckle," Kane, who is normally based in New York, tweeted. "He shouted fore. I did not heed the warning." He was injured midway through the Northern Irishman's 66 in the opening round, which left him second behind American Cameron Young overnight.
Kane posted four pictures showing him having a scan at hospital, then with his hand bandaged up and back at the Old Course with a beer in hand.
McIlroy was unaware of the injury but had said he hoped to "make fiddly his forte" after overcoming fast-running conditions on the Old Course.
— Charlie Kane (@PGATOURKane) July 14, 2022
His "fantastic start" to go six-under par, he said, was just "what you hope will happen when you're starting off your week". "I did everything that you're supposed to do around St Andrews," added McIlroy, who earlier this week described an Open at this venue as golf's "Holy Grail".
"I birdied the holes that are birdie-able. And I made pars at the holes where you're sort of looking to make a par and move to the next tee. And didn't really put myself out of position too much."
McIlroy broke records with a 63 in 2010 but that was followed by an 80 in terrible weather, while an ankle injury suffered playing football prevented him from bidding to retain the Claret Jug at the same venue in 2015.
However, on Thursday the four-time major winner enjoyed an ideal start, holing from 55ft for birdie on the first and making seven in total in his 66, the same score he shot to begin his wire-to-wire victory at Hoylake.