Rory McIlroy began his 2015 European Tour campaign Thursday in the Abu Dhabi Championship, where he fired a 5-under 67 in the first round that left him just three shots behind leader Martin Kaymer.
A little rust would be understandable for McIlroy, who hasn't played competitively since November.
His tee shot on the third hole (his 12th of the day) wound up in a horrible spot -- in the rough just above the lip of a bunker.
That made for an awkward stance for McIlroy's approach with one foot in the bunker and one foot out.
But, just like you'd expect from the world's No. 1 player and winner of the last two major championships played, McIlroy expertly pulled off the approach:
— The European Tour (@EuropeanTour) January 15, 2015
Yep, just a ho-hum birdie for McIlroy.
How good was that?
Does anyone in professional golf have more fun on the course -- or in life -- than Miguel Angel Jimenez?
On Thursday, in the first round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship, Jimenez made a hole-in-one on the 173-yard, par-3 15th hole.
You'll especially love the celebratory dance.
Check it out:
Looks like drinks in the clubhouse are on Jimenez...
... Like that wasn't going to happen anyway.
The ace was part of an "interesting" back nine for the most interesting man in golf, who shot an even-par 72 and trails leader Martin Kaymer by eight.
ABU DHABI -- Four of the world's top 10 squeezed in an unexpected spot of short game practice in a unique 'pitch n' paddle' challenge on Yas Island ahead of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship 10-year milestone.
Firing biodegradable 'fish food' balls from a jetty against a backdrop of mangroves between the ninth and 18th holes of Yas Links Abu Dhabi, Rory McIlroy and Rickie Fowler paired up to take on Henrik Stenson and Justin Rose.
FASTEN YOUR SEATBELTS: McIlroy lists his season goals on the back of his boarding pass
The session saw the two teams race to be the first to hit two floating targets attached to kayaks steered by their own caddies.
Watch the video here:
Stenson and Rose started strong, hitting the first 30 yard target in just three shots whilst McIlroy and Fowler struggled. However, panic struck for the dynamic duo -- and their caddie -- after world number one McIlroy evened up the score. Fowler sealed the deal by introducing his 'skip shot' -- skimming the ball across the water's surface to strike the final 60 yard target to take the title.
"We sort of struggled at the start," said McIlroy. "Once we finally hit the target at the first yardage then momentum was on our side."
Fowler added -- "We fed a lot of fish that's for sure!"
THE ROAD TO AUGUSTA: Rory McIlroy begins his Masters journey in Abu Dhabi
"It's a bit of a shock to the system to be honest," joked Rose. "We're going to have to go away and regroup and hopefully this won't affect us in the next Ryder Cup."
Tomorrow's Championship will see a host of the world's best challenging for the coveted Falcon Trophy, including four of top 10 (McIlroy, Stenson, Rose and Fowler), South African Ernie Els, three-time Falcon Trophy winner Martin Kaymer, Ryder Cup star Victor Dubuisson and Abu Dhabi's global golf ambassador Matteo Manassero, along with a host of past champions.
This article was from Khaleej Times and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.
It's not often that a hazard on a golf course can also serve as a hazard to your health (unless you're playing a course where the water hazards are populated by angry alligators).
But Traigh Golf Course in the West Highlands of Scotland has a new feature it'd rather not have -- a 14-foot sinkhole just in front of its seventh green.
According to a report from Golf News Net, the recently-formed sinkhole came about as the result of a drainpipe failure in November 2014.
The report says that the club estimates the repair -- fixing the drainpipe and filling in the sinkhole -- would cost approximately $30,000. That's money the club doesn't have.
Club spokesman Alec Stewart said, "Without repairing this pipe about half of the golf course will revert to bog and this would effectively be the end of our golf course."
Unfortunately, this isn't the first time we've seen a golf/sinkhole story.
Back in March of 2013, an 18-foot deep sinkhole on a course in Illinois swallowed a golfer who was walking down the middle of a fairway. Luckily, he was pulled out of the sinkhole after a frightening 20-minute rescue mission.
LPGA player Danielle Kang -- winner of the 2010 and 2011 U.S. Women's Amateur -- is like most professional golfers in that she's putting in a lot of work preparing for a new season.
All that work on the course typically means sacrificing time with the people (or pets) we love most.
That's not the case for Kang though. With her pug, Booda, by her side, Kang has been able to get in plenty of practice.
But Booda isn't just a bored bystander. He's actually a four-legged caddie of sorts, evidenced by this video Kang posted on her Instagram account:
A video posted by Danielle Kang (@daniellekang) on
Man, just when you thought dogs couldn't be any more awesome, right?
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