The Open 2014: Rory McIlroy overcomes hecklers to win third major
McIlroy ejected one spectator who has been heckling him for 16 holes but he did not ignore the boy on purpose
Rory Mcilroy joined an exclusive club with his Open Championship victory on Sunday, as he joined Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus in becoming just the third man in golf history to win three majors before turning 26.
Leading from start to finish in a famous wire-to-wire victory – the first sine Woods did the same in 2006 – McIlroy clinched the title by two shots over Rickie Fowler and Sergio Garcia, but it was not all smooth sailing for the Northern Irishman.
Upon taking to the first tee for his final round, a small group of fans sang a chant about McIlroy’s ex-girlfriend Caroline Wozniacki. Ever the face of focus though, the former world No 1 looked straight down the fairway and gave the hecklers no notice at all, and he soon silenced them with a lovely tee-shot to begin his walk to victory.
The heckling did continue from other areas though, and it all got too much for McIlroy by the 16th hole as he identified one persistent offender to the stewards, who promptly removed the rowdy spectator.
Read more: Glory for Rory as McIlroy win Open
McIlroy 'happy I got the enough of a cushion to hold on'
Brave Garcia falls just short after challenge
McIlroy admitted that the same man had been following him throughout his round and trying to put him off at each hole, and McIlroy decided that he had suffered just about enough abuse by the time he teed off at the 16th. In a sport proudly recognised for its well-behaved and respectful patrons, the fans at Hoylake have come in for criticism this year for their apparent heckling, although it remains a small proportion of the fans that feel it necessary to try and put off the competitors.
McIlroy said after he lifted the Claret Jug: “He was giving me grief all day. I sort of put it up for the first 15 holes, and then he deliberately coughed on my downswing on the 16th tee.
“I still hit a great drive. But I heard it halfway down and I knew who it was. So I turned around and got him chucked out, thankfully.
“I don't know who it was. But I didn't have him bothering me for the last two holes, which was nice.”
He also came in for some criticism after he was seen snubbing a young fan asking for an autograph after he holed out on the 18th, but fellow competitor and Ryder Cup team-mate Ian Poulter explained that it was due to a regulation from the R&A and not McIlroy’s choosing to ignore the youngster.
A ruling states that players must sign for their scorecards before signing any autographs for fans, meaning McIlroy would've risked a potentially title-costing penalty or disqualification by signing the autograph.
A young fan asks for McIlroy's autograph after he wins the Open McIlroy looks at the youngster as he makes his way to sign for his scorecard McIlroy walks off from the fan, who looks devastated that he was not able to get an autograph from the 2014 Open champion Poulter, who missed the cut after Friday’s second round, tweeted: “Just to clear up the signature thing. We are asked not to sign autographs until we have officially handed in our scorecards. #RulesAreRules.”
Just to clear up the signature thing. We are asked not to sign autographs until we have officially handed in our scorecards. #RulesAreRules; Ian Poulter (@IanJamesPoulter) July 20, 2014
Sergio Garcia was another to endure frustration with the crowd on his final round, as a mobile phone went off as he was addressing the ball, prompting him to pull out of the shot and turn his attentions to the guilty patron in frustration. Tiger Woods had also criticised the use of cameras during his opening rounds after he was put off during his swing.
Latest in Sport
Juventus vs Real Madrid - Champions League LIVE! Latest score and updates from semi-final first leg
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1 player ratings: Carlos Tevez, Cristiano Ronaldo and Alvaro Morata on target - but who scored highest?
Gareth Bale performance slammed by Roy Keane, Paul Scholes and Lee Dixon: 'His team-mates can't be happy'
David Beckham reveals secret of his success: I 'stayed in to watch Match of the Day' rather than go out with friends on a Saturday night
Two new members of Floyd Mayweather's The Money Team blag their way into entourage to celebrate to celebrate with Justin Bieber
- 1 The man who filmed the Freddie Gray video has been arrested at gunpoint
- 3 Top Gear: Jodie Kidd, Philip Glenister and Guy Martin 'in advanced talks' to join show
- 4 Frankie Boyle on Scottish independence: 'In the Interests of Unity, F**k Off'
- 5 How to gain confidence and maximise your sexual potential
In defence of liberal democracy
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
General election live: SNP suspends two members for disrupting Labour rally
Schools forced to act as 'miniature welfare states' with teachers buying underwear and even haircuts for poor pupils
Andy McSmith's Sketch: Feisty audience is the real star of an enlightening show