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 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 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 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.”

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.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
videoJapanese prepare for the afterlife by testing out coffins
Arts and Entertainment
Harrison Ford attends Blade Runner at Target Presents AFI's Night at the Movies at ArcLight Cinemas on 24 April, 2013 in Hollywood, California
film... but Ridley Scott won't direct
Sport
Hughes is hit by a bouncer from Sean Abbott
cricketStephen Brenkley on batsman's tragic flaw that led to critical injury
Sport
Dejected England players applaud the fans following their team's 3-0 defeat
football

Extras
indybest
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

Putin’s far-right ambition

Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?
Nightclubbing with Richard Young: The story behind his latest book of celebrity photographs

24-Hour party person

Photographer Richard Young has been snapping celebrities at play for 40 years. As his latest book is released, he reveals that it wasn’t all fun and games
Michelle Obama's school dinners: America’s children have a message for the First Lady

A taste for rebellion

US children have started an online protest against Michelle Obama’s drive for healthy school meals by posting photos of their lunches
Colouring books for adults: How the French are going crazy for Crayolas

Colouring books for adults

How the French are going crazy for Crayolas
Jack Thorne's play 'Hope': What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

Playwright Jack Thorne's latest work 'Hope' poses the question to audiences
Ed Harcourt on Romeo Beckham and life as a court composer at Burberry

Call me Ed Mozart

Paloma Faith, Lana del Ray... Romeo Beckham. Ed Harcourt has proved that he can write for them all. But it took a personal crisis to turn him from indie star to writer-for-hire
10 best stocking fillers for foodies

Festive treats: 10 best stocking fillers for foodies

From boozy milk to wasabi, give the food-lover in your life some extra-special, unusual treats to wake up to on Christmas morning
Phil Hughes head injury: He had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Phil Hughes had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Prolific opener had world at his feet until Harmison and Flintoff bounced him
'I have an age of attraction that starts as low as four': How do you deal with a paedophile who has never committed a crime?

'I am a paedophile'

Is our approach to sex offenders helping to create more victims?
How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

Serco given Yarl’s Wood immigration contract despite ‘vast failings’
Green Party on the march in Bristol: From a lost deposit to victory

From a lost deposit to victory

Green Party on the march in Bristol
Putting the grot right into Santa's grotto

Winter blunderlands

Putting the grot into grotto
'It just came to us, why not do it naked?' London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital

'It just came to us, why not do it naked?'

London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital