🥺Cheating His A** Off’: Rory McIlroy Faces Fans’ Wrath as His Heated Moment With Spieth & Hovland Goes Viral

May 29, 2024

‘Cheating His A** Off’: Rory McIlroy Faces Fans’ Wrath as His Heated Moment With Spieth & Hovland Goes Viral

Rory McIlroy was involved in another rule controversy at the Players Championship. Just weeks ago, the Northern Irishman was handed a two-shot penalty because of taking a wrong drop at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. Once again, at THE PLAYERS, McIlroy’s drop became the center of controversy. This time, his playing mates, Jordan Spieth, and Viktor Hovland chimed in too.

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The trio was involved in a lengthy discussion regarding McIlroy’s drop that went on for over eight minutes. However, it was only prolonged because the PGA Tour didn’t have any clear evidence of where he exactly dropped. Something that fans can’t accept from the Tour, that too in the ‘fifth Major.’

Where it all started for Rory McIlroy, Viktor Hovland and Jordan Spieth

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McIlroy’s drive on the par-4 7th landed on the water after taking a bounce on the land by the bunker. However, the problem was that no one clearly saw exactly where it landed. McIlroy was confident that it had dropped above the red line. The Northern Irish Pro took the drop from his knee length after that.

However, that’s when Viktor Hovland chimed in. The Norwegian wasn’t too sure the four-time Major winner was taking the correct drop.  Hovland said, “I thought it was really close. I can’t say either way.” Spieth too, shared his thoughts, claiming the media persons behind him were saying that the ball took the first bounce below the red line. 

Surprisingly, the rules officials said that there was no recorded evidence of where the ball landed. And, since there was no video evidence, they went ahead with mutual agreements from all three. Hovland accepted that he didn’t have a problem from where Rory McIlroy took the drop. Spieth, too, admitted that there was no other way to move forward. 

Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth and Viktor Hovland discuss McIlroy’s drop on No. 7.

Rory makes double bogey to move from solo leader to T2. pic.twitter.com/dkV6a5Q22W

— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) March 14, 2024

McIlroy eventually carded a double bogey. Fans, however, point out that the Tour should’ve had better technology in place to determine matters like this. In fact, some went ahead and claimed that McIlroy took advantage of the situation.

Why is the PGA Tour so careless about McIlroy’s ‘cheating’, asks fans

For most fans, the primary problem was that the broadcasters didn’t have a camera angle that caught where the ball landed. Some of them drew reference to the NFL, NBA, and MLB to point out how technology has advanced to sort out tricky matters like this.

Read More: TPC Sawgrass: Top 5 Incredible Facts About THE PLAYERS Championship Venue

A section of the fans felt that McIlroy got some unfair advantage nonetheless. They felt Hovland and Spieth were right in confronting the Northern Irishman.

Rory cheating his ass off!

— 🏆 The Attack Sheet (@AttackSheet) March 14, 2024

One fan outrightly questioned how McIlroy was so confident about the drop. After all, he was in the same position as Hovland and Spieth.

How does Rory know the ball is in the water? Did he see a splash? And even seeing a splash isn’t good enough. Go look at the USGA rulebook and see the degree of certainty you need to state that the ball went into the water. You will be surprised. @speakeasyshawn https://t.co/ejUQzGoGex

— Big Boy Pants Golf YouTube Channel (@Bigboypantsgolf) March 14, 2024

Some of them mocked the Tour for not being able to maintain the ‘integrity’ of the game. They pointed out that the Tour spends millions on purses, yet can’t figure out where a ball landed. 

The PGA (Poor Golf Association) can’t afford cameras to ensure the integrity of their game lol

— Thechek182 (@thechek182) March 14, 2024

However, some took sides with McIlroy as well. They felt that Spieth and Hovland created unnecessary drama out of nothing.

Well everyone posting creating drama out of nothing.. Hovland and spieth both having an average day so they chirped a little. Rory had miles in after the drop it’s fine relax. https://t.co/PhfabyN3SM

— James Nitties (@JamesNitties23) March 14, 2024

This user noted that the NFL, NBA, and MLB have taken steps to sort out matters like this quickly and accurately. The PGA Tour should follow suit, they feel.

The NFL has cameras in pylons.
The MLB has cameras in umpires’ helmets.
The NBA has cameras on hoops.

But the PGA Tour leaves it up to 3 players who were watching from 270 yards away to figure out where Rory’s ball entered into the water. https://t.co/l1BP2Nvt2y

— Tour Golf (@PGATUOR) March 14, 2024

This user said that the Tour players are already slow on the greens. A lengthy discussion without any resolution only makes the matter worse.

This happens every year. Someone hits in the water and the group disagrees with the drop

It’s 2024. There has to be technology to speed this up. The PGA Tour players already move at slow pace as it is. This is crazy

— Natty Camps (@ncamps97) March 14, 2024

One fan opined that all three players were right. For Rory McIlroy, who was leading, it was imperative to safeguard his lead. Whereas, for Spieth and Hovland, it mattered that the Ulsterman didn’t gain an unfair advantage.


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Controversial opinion here but I don’t think any of the players involved did anything wrong here. They can only really go with a general consensus if they don’t know for sure.

— Nick Causer (@nickcauser92) March 14, 2024

Rory McIlroy was asked about the matter at the first-round press conference. The four-time Major winner said, “I think Jordan was just trying to make sure that I was doing the right thing. I mean, I was pretty sure that my ball had crossed where I was sort of dropping it. It’s so hard, right, because there was no TV evidence.” McIlroy eventually finished as the opening-round leader with a 7-under 65.


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Read More:  Rory McIlroy’s First Ever THE PLAYERS Championship Was Notorious and Infamous – ‘Kicked Out of Bars’

One take at a time

Parnab Bhattacharya is a Beat Writer at EssentiallySports in the Golf Division. With four years of writing experience, he is now exploring his deep-rooted love for the gentleman’s sport. Parnab’s area of expertise is his predictive and perspective pieces, where he explores all things golf, diving deep into the whys and whats behind players’ and Tours’ moves in the sport, and unflinchingly voicing his take.

EssentiallySports is a digital-first sports media house that surfaces the best stories on America’s favorite sports celebrities with a fan’s perspective to 30+ M average monthly readers.