Ouch! Rory McIlroy shot proves double painful for spectator

Jumping cholla
USA Today
Jumping cholla -- a form of cactus -- is an obstacle you need to worry about at Dove Mountain as this fan learned on Wednesday.
By T.J. Auclair
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Series: Golf Buzz

Published: Thursday, February 20, 2014 | 9:49 a.m.

If you've spent any time at all watching the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship at Dove Mountain in Marana, Ariz., since the first time the event was played there in 2009, you've no doubt heard stories about something called, "jumping cholla."

Basically, it's a jumping cactus. Get too close, and this thing literally jumps on you. It's painful.

RELATED: Day 1 results from the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship

In the first round of the Match Play Championship Wednesday, an unlucky spectator got what appeared to be a 1-2 punch of pain.

Rory McIlroy attempted to hit a shot with his ball touching a rock. Upon contacted, the ball ricocheted off the rock and -- though we never see video evidence -- the announcers say the ball hit a spectator. Based on McIlroy's reaction -- an immediate cringe -- we suspect that's what happened.

But, what happened next only added insult to injury... or injury to injury for the fan.

After the ball hit the fan, he fell into a jumping cholla bush. Luckily for him, there were plenty of folks prepared with tweezers to remove the cholla from the man's body.

Check it out here:



McIlroy defeated Boo Weekley in the match, 3 and 2.

Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tjauclair.

T.J. Auclair is a Senior Interactive Producer for PGA.com and has covered professional golf since 1998, traveling to over 60 major championships. You can follow him on Twitter, @tjauclair.