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Simply put, there’s not a single player on the PGA Tour (or in LIV Golf) who’s more impressive off the tee than Rory McIlroy. Are there guys who are more accurate? Sure. Are there guys who can hit it further? Yes, although that list is much shorter.

But, overall, is there really anybody in the world you’d rather watch drive the golf ball than Rory McIlroy?

Now, if your answer is yes, the incredible tee shot he hit on the 18th hole of his second-round battle with Denny McCarthy at the WGC Match Play at Austin Country Club might change your mind.

Rory McIlroy hit one of the best drives you’ll ever see to close out his second-round match at the WGC Match Play

Rory McIlroy walks to the 18th green during the second round of the 2023 WGC Match Play
Rory McIlroy walks to the 18th green during day two of the World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play at Austin Country Club on March 23, 2023 | Harry How/Getty Images

Things didn’t look great for Rory early in the match. Despite playing bogey-free golf, McIlroy found himself 3-down after just six holes as McCarthy made three birdies and an eagle in that opening stretch.

But just two holes later, McIlroy was just 1-down as he birdied the seventh and McCarthy bogeyed the eighth. And just another two holes later, the world No. 3 found himself tied as McCarthy bogeyed the 10th.

The two traded birdies at the par-5 12th and did so again at the par-4 15th. McIlroy finally took his first lead of the day at the par-5 16th, making birdie while McCarthy settled for par. Each made par on the short 17th, taking the match to the final hole.

As Rory ended Wednesday’s first-round match with Scott Stallings on the 17th, this was his first attempt at the par-4 18th, which played 375 yards on Thursday, and what he did with it was nothing short of spectacular.

Come on, man. That’s just not even fair.

For one, 349 yards of carry is just absurd. Do you know the average carry on the PGA Tour? 281 yards. And hitting a 376-yard drive just three feet from the cup is unfathomable. You see that caption on the tweet above, the one that says Rory McIlroy’s shot was “One of the greatest drives you will EVER see”? That’s not overselling. That’s just a straight-up fact.

As for McCarthy, he hit his tee shot short and right. And after failing to make his approach shot, which he had to hole just to tie the match, he did the right thing and conceded the hole, giving Rory a 2-up victory.

The win was McIlroy’s 30th in his WGC Match Play career, and if he wins or ties his Friday match with Keegan Bradley, he’ll move into the Round of 16.

And as Bradley has gone to the 18th hole in 10 of his last 11 matches at Austin Country Club, the only exception being his 6&5 win over Stallings on Thursday, we could see some more magic from McIlroy.


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