U.S. Open Notebook: No. 11 gets best of McIlroy, his club takes brunt of rage

2013-06-17T00:00:00Z U.S. Open Notebook: No. 11 gets best of McIlroy, his club takes brunt of rageThe Associated Press The Associated Press
June 17, 2013 12:00 am  • 

ARDMORE, Pa. - Rory McIlroy started the U.S. Open with a run up the Rocky steps.

He ended it going a few rounds with one of his clubs.

McIlroy was miserable at Merion and he took out his frustrations on his club on No. 11 on Sunday. His first tee shot plopped in the water. He took a drop, then sent another ball into the same creek.

McIlroy then jammed the Nike club into the ground and completely twisted the head.

"I think that's what this tournament does to you," he said. "At one point or another, it's got the better of you, and it definitely did this weekend."

He briefly lost his cool, just not his sense of humor.

When he was introduced at his press conference as shooting 14 over, he joked, "You didn't have to tell them that part."

He shot a 6-over 76 in the final round.

McIlroy was part of the feature group the opening two rounds, playing alongside Tiger Woods and Adam Scott - Nos. 1, 2 and 3 in the world ranking. All three were big duds at Merion Golf Club. Woods finished at 13 over, and Scott at 15 over.

Volunteer struck

Luke Donald's errant tee shot on the third hole struck a volunteer in the elbow. Sara Clark, a standard bearer, was hit in the left elbow and knocked to the ground near the bunker. She needed an ice pack at the medical tent before she was released. Clark did not return to the course. The USGA said most standard bearers range from 14 to 21 years old.

Donald appeared visibly shook. He made bogey, and then followed that with two bogeys and a double bogey. He shot 42 on the back nine.

"She was in some pain and felt a little bit faint, and I felt a little bit faint, too, watching it," Donald said. "Unfortunately, you never like that to happen, and it was a very tough break for her."

Chip shots

• Hideki Matsuyama of Japan finished at 7-over 267 and tied for the best round of the tournament with a closing 67. He tied for 10th in his first U.S Open, making him an automatic qualifier for next year. He qualified this year in the Japan sectional.

• Shawn Stefani aced the 17th hole. He's the first player to make a hole-in-one at any of the five U.S. Opens at Merion. He used a 4-iron on the 229-yard hole. Stefani shot a 69 in the final round.

• Ernie Els cursed at a reporter to end his press conference. "I'm out of here," he said.

• Amateur Michael Kim faded hard Sunday with a 6-over 76 and was knocked off the final leaderboard. The 19-year-old Kim and his Merion caddie were fan favorites as they worked their way into contention. "I could have stared at that leaderboard for hours on end and wouldn't have stopped. It was pretty cool," he said.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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