Sports

New meaning of 'ball in pocket': McIlroy tee shots lands in an unplayable spot

  • Rory Mcilroy, of Northern Ireland, hits from the tee on the third hole during the second round of play in the Tour Championship golf tournament  Friday, Sept. 12, 2014, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Amis)

    Rory Mcilroy, of Northern Ireland, hits from the tee on the third hole during the second round of play in the Tour Championship golf tournament Friday, Sept. 12, 2014, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Amis)  (The Associated Press)

  • Rory Mcilroy, Northern Ireland, watches his tee shot on the third hole during the second round of play in the Tour Championship golf tournament  Friday, Sept. 12, 2014, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

    Rory Mcilroy, Northern Ireland, watches his tee shot on the third hole during the second round of play in the Tour Championship golf tournament Friday, Sept. 12, 2014, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)  (The Associated Press)

Rory McIlroy hit a tee shot Friday that temporarily disappeared into a spectator's pocket.

McIlroy's drive on the 14th hole at the Tour Championship ricocheted out of a pine tree and dropped straight down. No one knew where it was until a fan realized it was in his shorts pocket. PGA Tour rules official Robby Ware made sure the fan had not moved after the ball went into his pocket. McIlroy was given a free drop under Rule 19-a-1 and went on to make par.

McIlroy let the fan retrieve the ball. He said, "I know how sweaty my pockets are. I wasn't going into anyone else's."

A year ago at the PGA Championship, Jonas Blixt hit a tee shot that landed in a fan's back pocket.