Rory McIlroy paid for a young fan to enjoy a five star hotel at the British Open – after hitting him on the head with his golf ball.
The Irish superstar was visibly upset when his drive at the 15th hole on the opening day of the Open hit fan Jason Blue.
The 16-year-old student needed medical treatment after McIlroy’s wayward shot hit him on top of the head and bounced out of bounds.
Blue and a pal were staying in a tent near the course at Lytham St Anne’s on England’s Lancashire coast.
But McIlroy was so concerned and so remorseful that he organised a five star hotel nearby for the pair.
McIlroy said: “I hated the thought of him spending the night in a tent after getting that bang on the head.
“I’d like him to have a roof over his head tonight and a comfortable place to stay. It’s the least I can do.”
World number McIlroy also signed a glove for his victim and wrote the word ‘Sorry’ according to a report in the Irish Sun.
The 22-year-old McIlroy added: “The most important thing was that he was OK. Because I would have felt terrible if it had have been worse than what it was.”
The incident cost McIlroy a double bogey six at the hole on his way to a first round total of three under par, three off Australian leader Adam Scott.
“If he could have headed it the other way, it would have been in the fairway,” joked McIlroy.
Bristol resident Blue was treated by medics as he lay dazed on the side of the course.
He told reporters: “I can remember something hit me in the head and I fell over. I thought ‘what the hell was that?’
“We couldn’t see the tee because everyone had umbrellas up and so we had no idea it was coming towards us.
“I closed my eyes with the shock of it as I tried to work out what happened, I wasn’t out cold, then there was people crowding around me.
“Rory came over and said, ‘Sorry, are you OK? I don’t think this will help much but here you are’ and gave me a glove. He was apologetic.
“I don’t imagine he will be too happy with the fact I knocked it out of bounds - I’ll apologise if I see him again.
“I still want him to do well, I’ll probably go out and watch him on Friday.”
One onlooker said: “The fan was just minding his own business, he didn’t even see McIlroy teeing off.
“But it was probably one of McIlroy’s worst drives of the day and it landed right on his head.
“He was completely dazed by it and was on the ground in no time. It must have hurt.
“But he seemed OK once Rory spoke to him and was delighted with his signed glove.”
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