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Rory McIlroy slapped with two-stroke penalty for illegal drop during Pebble Beach Pro-Am


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Rory McIlroy had his scorecard from the opening round of the Pebble Beach Pro-Am retrospectively changed after a controversial drop he made on the seventh hole.

The Northern Irishman had finished with a round of 69 to leave him five shots off early leader Patrick Cantlay and well in contention.

McIlroy started strong from the 10th tee with a two birdies for a bogey-free back nine.

The turn saw McIlroy really find the groove with four birdies in the next five holes.

Rory McIlroy was given a two-stroke penalty

Rory McIlroy was given a two-stroke penalty


But he got into trouble on the next three holes having moved top of the leaderboard.

He went on a run of three consecutive bogeys on holes six, seven and eight before ending with a par on nine.

However, McIlroy’s score was eventually changed due to an illegal drop he made on the seventh hole.

It was later explained by a rules official speaking on coverage of the event that McIlroy had mistakenly dropped his ball to the side.

McIlroy “owned his mistake” when made aware of what he had done and was subsequently given the two-stroke penalty.

“When the rules changed in 2023 – back of the line relief – you still go back in line with the flag stick from where the ball is,” they said.

“However, you have to drop the ball on that line and it can roll in any direction, even forward, one club length.

“Rory from that line dropped one club length to the side, which makes it the wrong place and will be a two-stroke penalty.

Rory McIlroy was subsequently given a triple bogey on hole seven

Rory McIlroy was subsequently given a triple bogey on hole seven


“Rory was met in scoring by our chief referee Stephen Cox and he totally owned the mistake, was very professional about it, and admitted to the rules mistake.”

He added: “It can drop on the line and roll up to a club length any direction.

“However, he took the club length off of the line and dropped it in that area, which he thought was a relief area.


“That was correct in 2019 but it changed in 2023.”

That put McIlroy on one-under par and tied-39th for the tournament instead of three-under.

The 34-year-old has never won the Pebble Beach Pro-Am event with Justin Rose the defending champion.

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Written by: radioroxi

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