Rory McIlroy loses his ball during The Open practice – only to discover he was the victim of cruel prank

RORY McILROY seemed to have double ball trouble during his practice at Carnoustie yesterday.

The four-time Major champion was baffled when his ball was nowhere to be found near the side of the third green.

 Rory McIlroy had some ball trouble as he had some practice ahead of The Open starting

PA:Press Association
Rory McIlroy had some ball trouble as he had some practice ahead of The Open starting

It looked like he was even prepared to search closer to home.

McIlroy will hope the mystery disappearance does not prove a taste of things to come.

The weather forecast is suggesting Car-nasty could live up to its name over the next two days.

The wind is supposed to pick up tomorrow with rain also forecast, which means the players in McIlroy’s half of the draw will get the worst of the weather.

 But while he looked for his ball on the floor, Rory McIlroy decided he would check out his attire

PA:Press Association
But while he looked for his ball on the floor, Rory McIlroy decided he would check out his attire

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The former world No 1 suffered the same fate at Troon two years ago.

He finished top of the players in his half of the draw — but had to settle for fifth as eventual champion.

Swede Henrik Stenson and company made the most of the favourable conditions they encountered.

At least his ‘lost ball’ mystery proved to be a false alarm yesterday.

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 But Rory McIlroy shouldn't have worried that his shot was horrifically wide - in fact a rival player had sneaked off with his ball

PA:Press Association
But Rory McIlroy shouldn't have worried that his shot was horrifically wide – in fact a rival player had sneaked off with his ball
 Once he realised he had been pranked, Rory McIlroy clearly saw the funny side of events

AFP
Once he realised he had been pranked, Rory McIlroy clearly saw the funny side of events

McIlroy was convinced he knew exactly where his ball had finished up and walked straight to the spot, before looking around in bemusement.

It was only when the spectators started shouting, ‘It was someone in the last group, Rory’ that McIlroy realised he was the victim of a prank

Spanish star Adrian Otaegui had mischievously pocketed the ball before sneaking off to the fourth tee.

He owned up to the stunt when McIlroy caught up with him minutes later.

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RORY McILROY seemed to have double ball trouble during his practice at Carnoustie yesterday.