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Rory McIlroy compensates spectator he hit with ball

Updated: Friday, 20 Jul 2012 15:54 | Comments

Jason Blue receives attention after he was struck by Rory McIliroy's ball yesterday
Jason Blue receives attention after he was struck by Rory McIliroy's ball yesterday

Rory McIlroy left himself a mountain to climb at The Open with a second round 75 - but at least he did not forget the teenager he hit on the head the day before.

Rather than having Bristol 16-year-old Jason Blue sleeping in a tent again, the world number two provided a hotel room and "some cash" - around £100 he then said - in addition to the signed glove he had given him at the time.

"I thought it was the least I could do when he's got a massive gash in the side of his head," McIlroy stated.

"I put him and his mate up for the night and actually tried to get them into the hotel for a couple more nights, but they were just fully booked."

There was very nearly another casualty after the Northern Irishman resumed in joint sixth place on three under.

McIlroy's wild approach to the third came down right next to Toru Oda, the caddie of Japanese player Toshinori Muto.

That it also narrowly avoided the thick rough added to the 23-year-old's relief.

However, he bogeyed the hole and it was on the short ninth that the round really started getting away from him.

While an alarm was sounding in a nearby house - he refused to blame that - McIlroy failed to get out of a greenside bunker, took a double bogey five and then dropped three more strokes coming home.

Each resulted from finding rain-sodden bunkers, the one on the 17th so bad that he chose to drop the ball in the sand away from the water.

"It wasn't the best day out there. I was doing pretty well just to hang in there and making a double on the ninth was sort of the turning point.

"I couldn't really recover from that. I wasn't committing to my tee shots and was in two minds a few times about what shots to hit.

"That's just something I'll need to improve on tomorrow - just really commit to it and try to get the ball in the fairway.

"The wind was in an opposite direction, even though there wasn't much of it, and it made the tough holes play even tougher.

"It was just one of those days where I couldn't quite get on my game and struggled to get any sort of momentum.

"I felt like I was hitting the ball pretty good on the range. I was losing a few to the left, so maybe that's why I was trying to protect that one and I missed a couple to the right early on.

"Obviously Snedeker is a little bit ahead at the minute, but I feel like if I can maybe get it back (tomorrow) to where I was at the start of the day I'd still have a great chance.

"The course is very playable. You just need to keep out of the bunkers, which is the whole idea any way. I don't see any problem with the water in the bunkers.

"I've had one unlucky break (he went out of bounds off Blue's head), but a couple of lucky breaks, so it sort of all evens out in the end."

Twice champion Pádraig Harrington also stands two over following a 72 that included bogeys at three of the final four holes for an inward 40.

"I'd like to have them back, but that's the nature of the game. It's frustrating.

"You need to get the breaks and I'm depending on getting breaks tomorrow.

"If I was three under par or so I'd be depending on just playing good golf, whereas now I'm depending on playing good golf and getting a little bit lucky.

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