WATCH: McIlroy Hits 'One Of The Greatest Drives' 375 Yards To Three Feet

Rory McIlroy almost had a hole-in-one on a par four as he cracked a 375-yard drive on the 18th at the WGC-Match Play

Rory McIlroy at the WGC-Match Play
(Image credit: Getty Images)

He may be a fan of rolling back the golf ball, but there was no rolling back from Rory McIlroy as he smoked a 375-yard tee shot to drive the par-four 18th hole at Austin Country Club, in what is being labelled as one of the best drives ever.

McIlroy was taken to the final hole by Denny McCarthy in his second match of the WGC-Match Play in Texas, but closed out a 2up victory by crunching a monster drive that carried 349 yards and rolled up to three feet from the hole.

“One of the greatest drives you will EVER see,” is how the PGA Tour social media admins described it, and many viewers agreed as it was one of the most powerful yet accurate drives you could wish to see.

McIlroy himself said the wind was playing a helping hand, and he didn’t even know he’d flown the green until he was halfway down the fairway.

“I certainly didn't expect to fly it on the green,” said McIlroy. “It's almost one of those, when it's that far much downwind, it's almost like I could have hit 3-wood to get the down slope to get the skid. 

“Like, I was imagining the driver was going to land into the upslope and sort of stay 10, 20 yards short. But as I said, I didn't imagine I could fly it on the green.

“I was 1-up and there's certainly a lot of other ways to make birdie on that hole without having to do that. But, yeah, it was a great swing and it was great time to do it.”

McIlroy is one of the great drivers of a golf ball, and his shot at the 18th followed another good round off the tee as the changes to his TaylorMade Stealth 2 Plus driver set-up look to be paying off.

The Northern Irishman made changes to his driver shaft in order to get more control and his big dog has responded in Austin – and if he can get back to his best off the tee it would be perfect timing with the Masters just around the corner.

“I feel like I took it out of the box on Friday last week and the first two shots with it I was like, here we go. That's what it should be,” McIlroy said of his new driver.

“When you're trying to fit clubs and stuff I don't think there should be too much fiddling about with it. It was like first two shots out of the box and it was like, yeah, I think I've got one here. So it's nice to sort of see that feeling translate into the same thing on the golf course.

“I think the drives I hit on 12, even 13, 15, 16, 18, you know, I drove the ball great those last few holes and hit it really well. Yeah, it was great to see.”

McIlroy has been a backer of the proposed changes to roll back the golf ball, whether he’ll still be a fan if his driver continues to perform like this remains to be seen.

Paul Higham

Paul Higham is a sports journalist with over 20 years of experience in covering most major sporting events for both Sky Sports and BBC Sport. He is currently freelance and covers the golf majors on the BBC Sport website.  Highlights over the years include covering that epic Monday finish in the Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor and watching Rory McIlroy produce one of the most dominant Major wins at the 2011 US Open at Congressional. He also writes betting previews and still feels strangely proud of backing Danny Willett when he won the Masters in 2016 - Willett also praised his putting stroke during a media event before the Open at Hoylake. Favourite interviews he's conducted have been with McIlroy, Paul McGinley, Thomas Bjorn, Rickie Fowler and the enigma that is Victor Dubuisson. A big fan of watching any golf from any tour, sadly he spends more time writing about golf than playing these days with two young children, and as a big fair weather golfer claims playing in shorts is worth at least five shots. Being from Liverpool he loves the likes of Hoylake, Birkdale and the stretch of tracks along England's Golf Coast, but would say his favourite courses played are Kingsbarns and Portrush.