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Rory McIlroy hits dad in the leg with golf ball after errant shot at Masters

The Irish golfer had his dad limping a little bit after accidentally hitting him with his second shot on the seventh hole at the Masters.
/ Source: TODAY

Rory McIlroy's dad took one for the team during the opening round of the Masters on Thursday.

The Irish golfer plunked his father, Gerry, on the back of his left leg with his second shot on the seventh hole at Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia.

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McIlroy, 31, had been using his father as a reference point when sizing up where to hit his approach shot, but was a little too accurate when he zapped him with the ball.

"In fairness, it was where I was trying to turn it off," McIlroy told reporters afterward. "Perfect shot, it was dead straight. I think he was okay. He didn't limp away, he walked away pretty swiftly, so that was all right."

McIlroy's shot could've ended up in a much worse spot if his father hadn't inadvertently stopped it with his leg. Gerry McIlroy took it in stride despite limping away.

"I should ask for an autographed glove," he joked to reporters nearby, according to CBS reporter Kyle Porter.

Gerry McIlroy has been a regular presence at his son's tournaments over the years, so it was no surprise to see him in the middle of the action.

The shot was part of a rough opening round for McIlroy, who shot a 4-over par 76 and trails tournament leader Justin Rose by 11 shots heading into Friday's second round. He also splashed a shot in the famed Rae's Creek on the 13th hole for his sixth bogey of the round.

McIlroy, who is searching for his first PGA Tour win since 2019 and his first victory in a major tournament since 2014, was happy to at least see his dad walk it off after getting hit by his shot.

"I think he just needs to go and put some ice on — maybe I'll autograph a bag of frozen peas for him," he joked to reporters.