CROMWELL - When Joe McMahon arrived at the Travelers Championship Saturday afternoon, his last thought was he would become part of the action. But that’s exactly what he became during the tournament's third round.
On the fifth hole, Rory McIlroy hit his second shot wide right, heading directly for the gallery. The ball landed with a distinct thud, right on the left arm of the 23-year-old from Worcester, Mass. McMahon had an oval-shaped mark on his arm moments after the ball struck.
“I was just kind of standing there and I saw the ball up in the air and was asking, ‘am I in trouble [of getting it]? How close is [the ball]?” McMahon said. “Someone’s screaming ‘right.' Then all of the sudden I see the ball flying and I get the ball off my shoulder and I get a bruise.”
McMahon, along with friends Eric Norrman, Ryan Deviney and Keegan Halpin, was following McIlroy’s partner for the day, Lanto Griffin. The group just happened to be in the right place at the right time, or in this case the wrong place at the wrong time, when he got plunked by the ball.
“Out of 10 [pain scale], it’s a 6.5,” McMahon said of how his arm felt.
When McIlory came over to find his ball, McMahon’s friends told the Northern Irishman he had hit him. McIlroy, locked in at the moment, walked over, lined up his shot and took it.
He finished the hole with a bogey and 1-under for the round to move to -8. Griffin shot an even 70 and is 7-under heading into Sunday's final round.
“Rory gave me nothing,” McMahon said. “We got to get a P.O. Box set up so Rory can send us a glove.”
Your move, Rory.
David Glovach can be reached at (860) 801-5085 or firstname.lastname@example.org