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.

Facts about St Andrews

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
Staff Writer

Matt joined Golf Monthly in February 2021 covering weekend news, before also transitioning to equipment and testing. After freelancing for Golf Monthly and The PGA for 18 months, he was offered a full-time position at the company in October 2022 and continues to cover weekend news and social media, as well as help look after Golf Monthly’s many buyers’ guides and equipment reviews.

Taking up the game when he was just seven years of age, Matt made it into his county squad just a year later and continues to play the game at a high standard, with a handicap of around 2-4. To date, his best round came in 2016, where he shot a six-under-par 66 having been seven-under through nine holes. He currently plays at Witney Lakes in Oxfordshire and his favourite player is Rory McIlroy, despite nearly being struck by his second shot at the 17th during the 2015 BMW PGA Championship.

Matt’s current What’s In The Bag?

Driver: Honma TW747, 8.75°

Fairway Wood: TaylorMade Rocketballz Stage 2, 15°, 19°

Hybrid: Adams Super Hybrid, 22°

Irons: Mizuno MP54, 5-PW

Wedges: Cleveland 588 RTX 2.0 Tour Satin, 50°, 56°, 60°

Putter: Cleveland TFI 2135 Satin Cero

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x