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Rory McIlroy has had to chip shots from all corners of a golf course in his career but the former world number one found himself in an awkward fix at the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai on Thursday when his tee shot landed on a woman’s lap.
The four-time major winner teed off from the 13th hole at the Jumeirah Golf Estates in Dubai and as the ball fell outside the green, spectators moved aside to reveal his ball was lodged on the lap of a woman sitting on the grass.
McIlroy playfully pretended to take his next shot off her lap amid laughter before he called for the referee, who himself could not contain a smile as he took in the Northern Irishman’s predicament while the woman stood absolutely still.
“You can pass him the ball,” the referee said as the relieved woman quickly picked up the ball and handed it to McIlroy.
“You can move now, you are now excused,” the referee added as she picked up her belongings and moved aside before a smiling McIlroy was allowed to continue with a dropped ball, eventually making a bogey.
McIlroy also found the wooden bridge on the 18th, bizarrely the second player to do so after Viktor Hovland’s shot on the 17th landed on the rickety structure.
Nicolai Hojgaard, Julien Guerrier and Matthieu Pavon shared a three-way lead after they shot 67 for five-under par.
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