Rory McIlroy vs. Keegan Bradley: How Late Arrival Affected Rory out the Gate

Patrick Clarke@@_Pat_ClarkeCorrespondent ISeptember 30, 2012

MEDINAH, IL - SEPTEMBER 30:  Rory McIlroy of Europe lines up a shot with his caddie J.P. Fitzgerald on the third tee during the Singles Matches for The 39th Ryder Cup at Medinah Country Club on September 30, 2012 in Medinah, Illinois.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Rory McIlroy gave the European Ryder Cup team a scare on Sunday when he arrived late to Medinah Country Club after mistaking his 11:25 a.m. tee time for 12:25 p.m. because of time zone confusion.

McIlroy needed a ride to the course from a police officer according to ESPN.com's Bob Harig.

European captain Jose Maria Olazabal was immediately frightened the moment he realized McIlroy wasn't on time (via the Chicago Tribune's Jeff Shain):

My heart was racing. All of a sudden, we realized that Rory’s not here. We started to look for him [on the grounds] and nobody knew.

The dangerously late arrival certainly had McIlroy shaken up, and cost him valuable practice shots, but has failed to rattle him through the first few holes. McIlroy shot par on the first three holes in his matchup against American Keegan Bradley.

The 23-year-old star then went up one on the fourth hole and maintained his lead through the fifth. McIlroy went two up with a brilliant chip on hole No. 6.

McIlroy was one up on Bradley after 10 holes on Sunday.

With the European team trailing the United States 10-6 coming into Day 3's one-on-one action, McIlroy is in desperate need of a win in order to help his side erase an enormous deficit.

The last time a Ryder Cup team overcame a hole this big was 13 years ago when the Americans rallied from a 10-6 final day deficit to win in Brookline, Massachusetts. 

McIlroy's late arrival certainly wasn't the start he or the Europeans were looking for on Sunday. 

The two-time major winner is participating in his second Ryder Cup. He helped Europe to a win over the United States in Wales two years ago in 2010 as the youngest member of the European team.

So far and despite nearly being disqualified for his absence, McIlroy has delivered for Olazabal and Team Europe. 

 

Follow Bleacher Report Featured Columnist Patrick Clarke on Twitter for more Golf take, reaction and analysis. 

Follow _Pat_Clarke on Twitter

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