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Wham! McIlroy Tees Off, Reaches Green On 436-Yard Hole

Golfer Rory McIlroy had an outstanding first day at the Scottish Open, finishing with a seven-under-par 64 to break the Royal Aberdeen course record Thursday. But he hit one shot that staggered spectators: a drive on the 13th hole that streaked down the fairway before rolling onto the green 436 yards away, as the Golf Channel reports.

For TV viewers, the tip-off that McIlroy had done something special came when the camera on the par-4 hole panned left and right, searching for the ball.

It turned out the ball was still moving, helped along by the wind — and it didn't stop until it rolled to the feet of golfers who were lining up their putts on the green. We'll note that while parts of the 13th's fairway are downhill, the hole is also nicknamed "Blind" because of the lack of visibility from the tee box.

McIlroy says he could have done better today.

"I played the par 5s an even par which I was sort of disappointed about, but I made a nice few birdies around the turn," McIlroy tells BBC Scotland. "It would have been nice to make one or two more coming down the last few holes but I'm not going to complain about a 64."

If you're wondering how McIlroy's long and accurate shot on the 13th compares with other epic drives, it would be near the top of last year's list of the 10 Longest Drives of the PGA Tour Season, compiled by CBS.

That list was topped by Phil Mickelson, at 450 yards — a distance that was enhanced after the ball found the cart path and rolled on the pavement.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Bill Chappell is a writer and editor on the News Desk in the heart of NPR's newsroom in Washington, D.C.
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