A 35-year-old man was taken into custody Friday morning after approaching Rory McIlroy and his playing partners at the start of the Scottish Open and pulling a club from McIlroy’s bag.
McIlroy was at the 10th hole with U.S. Open champion Jon Rahm and Justin Thomas when the man walked to the tee box, unimpeded by security at the Renaissance Club in North Berwick, Scotland.
Rahm’s caddie, Adam Hayes, called for security and the man then was taken off the course.
McIlroy shot a second-round 71 and missed the cut. Afterward, he didn’t want to speak much about the incident.
“I was surprised. Everyone saw what happened on TV,” McIlroy, of Northern Ireland, said. “It was handled efficiently and everything was OK. I had no idea who it was.”
Rahm said the unidentified spectator smelled of alcohol.
“He came in so confident and we thought he was going to take a picture or something. We thought he was maybe part of the camera crew or a photographer,” the Spaniard said. “After a little bit, when he walked back and they were taking him out you could smell the reason why it happened. Me and Rory didn’t say anything. He was holding a six iron and I didn’t want to get hurt.
A spokesperson for the European Tour said “the matter is now in the hands of Police Scotland.”
The Scottish Open is a tuneup for The Open Championship, which begins next week at Royal St. George’s in Sandwich, Kent, England. This is the first time spectators have been allowed to watch a golf event in Great Britain since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
After 36 holes, Rahm is leading at 11 under, with Thomas three shots back and tied for fourth.
–Field Level Media
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