Ryder Cup 2012: Rory McIlroy late to Medinah after time zone mix-up

Ross Kinnaird - Getty Images

Have you heard the one about Rory McIlroy arriving for his Ryder Cup singles match 10 minutes before his 11:25 tee time because he thought he was in another time zone?

The celebrity pitchman for luxury watch brand Audemars Piguet almost had a “defining moment” of his golf career when he apparently forgot that he had arrived at Medinah Country Club in Central Time the previous two days. Somehow, the world No. 1 missed the “Eastern time” when Golf Channel announced several times that McIlroy had a 12:25 date with Keegan Bradley.


For sure, it was a bizarre, O.J.-like scene in the Medinah parking lot as McIlroy exited a police car assigned to deliver the European star to the first tee. Had he been five minutes or less late to the tee, McIlroy would have lost a hole; more than five minutes late would have resulted in a disqualification. But the timing mixup that gave European captain Jose Maria Olazabal heart palpations seemed to have little impact on the 23-year-old from Northern Ireland.

After pounding down an energy bar and sprinting to the practice green for a few putts, McIlroy missed the fairway with his first drive but settled down and was all square with Bradley heading to the third tee.

But, as several Twitter observers noted, with Chicago’s Central time zone an hour behind the east and with McIlroy blaming a time-zone brain cramp for his late arrival, would he not have shown up for his tee time an hour earlier?

McIlroy's timing mishap, by the way, was apparently not an isolated incident. The PGA champ overslept and almost missed his final-round tee time at Kiawah Island last month, according to Golfmagic.com.

Things that make you go, "hmmm...."

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