In a final round littered with mistakes and missed putts, Rory McIlroy was creeping up the leaderboard at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
After dropping his sixth birdie of the day on hole 13, McIlroy hit the front in ominous fashion, but he didn’t know this.
His foot appeared to slip as he hooked his tee shot on the par-3 14th hole and this proved to be a critical point when the Northern Irishman was about to take control.
This was one of the many mishaps from the leading pack we saw on the back nine at Bay Hill, as the juicy rough and firm greens began to cause havoc.
“If I look back on today the one thing I’ll rue is the tee shot on 14,” McIlroy said. “I birdied 13 and got on to 14 tee and I honestly thought I was still like one or two behind the lead.
“As I was walking to the 14th green, I looked behind me at the scoreboard, and I was leading by one.
“And if I had known that, I wouldn’t have tried to play the shot that I played on 14, which was unfortunate, but I ended up making a bogey there and then a bad swing off the tee on 15 and a bogey.
“I certainly felt it on the golf course (leaderboard changing), so I’m sure it was pretty good to watch. It’s hard because the lead’s changing hands with guys making bogeys, not really making birdies.
“So (I) don’t know how people find that entertainment value.”
Kurt Kitayama overcame a triple-bogey on hole 9 after his drive went out of bounds to win his first PGA Tour trophy at the fourth designated event of 2023.
It wasn’t the vintage PGA Tour weekend we’ve become accustomed to with birdies and eagles popping up all over the golf course.
It was attritional as McIlroy, Kitayama, Scottie Scheffler, Tyrrell Hatton, Jordan Spieth, and Viktor Hovland all had frustrating moments on Sunday afternoon.
But McIlroy’s comments after the action in Florida got us thinking. Do golf fans enjoy watching their favourite players excel or struggle?
Some viewers may find reassurance when an elite player dunks one in the water, but others might just want to see the best compete against the best, and play their best golf.
NCG posed the question on social media on McIlroy’s quotes and we received some mixed responses…
What do you prefer: loads of birdies or loads of bogeys? Tweet me and let me know!
Could the golf ball be rolled back for everyone?