WATCH: Rory McIlroy Holes Incredible Bunker Shot At 150th Open Championship

McIlroy's 50-yard bunker shot never left the flag as he moved into a share of the lead at St Andrews

McIlroy celebrates after holing a bunker shot
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Moving Day at an Open Championship is always an exciting time, let alone when it is at the Home of Golf and when the world's elite are involved. On Saturday at St Andrews, Rory McIlroy provided a moment of magic, as he holed a near impossible bunker shot to temporarily move into the lead of The 150th Open Championship.

There had already been some incredible moments on Saturday, with Shane Lowry producing back-to-back pitch in eagles to vault up the leaderboard. However, in the heat of battle, with the world's best in contention, McIlroy provided an unbelievable moment, as he holed the hardest shot in golf, a 50-yard bunker shot.

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It had been hard to keep up with everything going on at the Old Course, with birdies and eagles flying in left, right and centre. After completing his front nine, in which he posted three birdies and six pars, McIlroy put his drive on the 10th into one of St Andrews' many bunkers.

After Viktor Hovland, who had been leading throughout the front nine, stuck his drive on the front edge, McIlroy needed to make a birdie to put pressure on his fellow European Ryder Cup teammate. For Rory, he went one better, holing the shot for eagle.

Clipping it off the surface, it never looked like going anywhere else but in the hole, rolling in for a stunning eagle. What was also stunning was that Hovland kept his concentration, making a birdie to keep a share of the lead with his playing partner.

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The two showed their respect to one another also, with Hovland tapping Rory on the shoulder as the crowds chanted Rory's name following the bunker shot. The Norwegian knew how tough it was.

Matt Cradock
Matt Cradock

Matt studied Sports Journalism at Southampton Solent University, graduating in 2019. Now a freelance writer for Golf Monthly and the PGA, he covers all aspects of the game, from Tour news to equipment testing and buyers’ guides. Taking up the game at the age of six, Matt currently holds a handicap of 3 and despite not having a hole in one…yet, he has had two albatrosses. His favourite player is Rory McIlroy, despite nearly being struck by his second shot at the 17th during the 2015 BMW PGA Championship.