Rory McIlroy is having kind of a weird year. He hasn’t been bad; he finished T2 at the British Open, for example. But he hasn’t exactly been consistent through the year, and he has just one win worldwide since 2016.
He’s played decent golf at Bellerive, but wasn’t really in contention heading into the third round. And if you extrapolate from just one practice range wedge shot (which you should definitely not do), his third round could be in trouble too. TNT threw it to the practice range for some B-roll, essentially, where they managed to capture Rory doing something no golfer ever wants to do.
That’s not good! The thud off the scoreboard really sells it. TNT ended up going back for some slow-motion video, because you have to:
That can happen to anyone at any time, of course, but it did make Rory’s first on-course wedge shots more interesting. And they didn’t go that well. First there was a pitching wedge approach from the rough:
Then there was the attempted lob wedge recovery from well behind the green:
That led to an opening bogey for Rory. Again, the shank probably had nothing to do with it, and Rory got his bogey back right away with a birdie on the second hole, but for him to have a realistic shot at contending on Sunday he probably can’t afford holes like the first one.