Those who love links golf with a dollop of weather punishment had to enjoy the final round of the Genesis Scottish Open. The anticipated 20 to 30-mile-per-hour winds were present at the Renaissance Club on Sunday, with gusts into the 40s.
“It’s the kind of day where you have to throw out your yardages,” CBS analyst Trevor Immelman noted as he signed on the broadcast.
Indeed, it’s a bit of chaos for players. But for fans, there’s something enchanting about watching a tour pro hit a 7-iron just 100 yards while facing a stiff wind. And similarly, there’s something enthrawing about watching one blister a shot when playing downwind and registering scary long numbers.
Exhibit A: Rory McIlroy with this drive on the seventh hole.
427-yard drive from @McIlroyRory 😳
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) July 16, 2023
Prior to this shot, McIlroy’s longest drive of the season was 388 yards on the third hole at Riviera Country Club in the second round of the Genesis Invitational. And it wasn’t like he went at this one with a mighty rip or anything. It was a very controlled swing that set up an eventual birdie. It was the seventh-longest measured drive of the PGA Tour season and the longest of the year on the DP World Tour (which is co-sanctioning the event). It’s also the longest of McIlroy’s career on tour.
McIlroy’s good fortune didn’t end on the seventh hole. While losing his 54-hole lead early in the final round, he rallied with four birdies on the back nine, including birdies on the 17th and 18th holes, to claim victory by one shot over Robert MacIntyre. Not a bad little confidence booster ahead of this coming week’s British Open at Royal Liverpool, where McIlroy won the claret jug in 2014.