Golf: McIlroy speaks after shot accidentally hits father
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Rory McIlroy offered a piece of half-hearted advice to Australian golfer Justin Warren who missed an embarrassingly short putt in a PGA Tour qualifier saying, ‘Don’t miss one-footers’.
The advice from the four-time major champion came after a video of Warren missing a tap-in putt that cost him his debut on the PGA Tour went viral on Tuesday, following qualifying at the Barracuda Championship.
Australian, Warren was required to hole a putt from inside one foot to secure his first ever start at a PGA Tour event, however he somehow pulled his effort left of the mark, to leave him both red-faced, and enormously disappointed in one of the biggest moments of his career.
Speaking after his heartbreak Warren said: “As brutal as it was to finish the way it did, it’s golf.
It sucks, and it makes me want to punch a wall, but that doesn’t help anyone. I just have to recognize that I made an error that cost me dearly, and it’s a tough one to swallow, but I just have to keep on keeping on.”
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The Australian also took to Twitter to vent his frustration, saying: “Can assure that the feeling isn’t good. Amazing what nerves and pressure do. Routine flew straight out the window and rushed an extremely important putt. On to the next one.”
Ahead of this week’s WGC-FedEx St. Jude invitational at TPC Southwind one of the world’s best, McIlroy was asked what advice he would offer to Warren following the agony.
As a result, the 19-time PGA Tour winner was straight to the point in his reply saying: “Don’t miss 1-footers, I guess, is a piece of advice. I guess that’s a little bit tough love.”
Following his half-hearted response the Northern Irishman seemed much more sympathetic to the Australian, as he recalled a similar situation he found himself in after he missed a putt from 18 inches in a play-off in a bid for his first ever European Tour title in 2008.
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He commented: “I thought about it for a long time until I got that first win, but I guess the solace he can take is he’s played well enough to give himself a chance. Like we all do dumb things under pressure at times, I’ve certainly done them.”
The world number 13 went on to add that the best way for Warren to comeback from his agonising miss is take positives from the rest of his game rather than dwelling on the missed putt.
McIlroy added: “The next time – you know, I learned from that that every putt that I had, I took a little bit more time and I wasn’t quite as careless. So there’s a lot of things you can learn from these things. I guess he can take encouragement that he gave himself a chance and he played well to be in that spot.”
The Northern Irishman will be hoping he won’t be left to rue any missed chances at the end of this week in Memphis, as he kicks off the hunt for his fourth World Golf Championship at TPC Southwind today alongside Brooks Koepka and Jordan Spieth at 3:59pm BST.
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