'This is nuts': Golf world in shock over 'disgusting' incident

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The spectator, pictured here taking one of Rory McIlroy's clubs.
The spectator took one of Rory McIlroy's clubs before taking some practice swings. Image: Twitter/Getty

The golf world was left in disbelief on Friday when a spectator stole a club from Rory McIlroy's bag and started taking some practice swings at the Scottish Open.

A 35-year-old man was taken into custody after approaching McIlroy and playing partner Jon Rahm on the 10th tee while they were waiting to start their round.

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Extraordinary video shows the man walking onto the tee box unimpeded by security at the Renaissance Club in North Berwick, Scotland before nonchalantly taking a club from McIlroy's bag.

He then proceeds to take a few practice swings before Rahm's caddie, Adam Hayes, calls for security.

The man was then taken off the course.

A European Tour spokesperson said the spectator "was escorted from the tee by security personnel and the matter is now in the hands of Police Scotland."

After shooting a second round of 71, McIlroy said: "I was surprised. Everyone saw what happened on TV.

"It was handled efficiently and everything was OK. I had no idea who it was."

The spectator, pictured here being removed by security at the Scottish Open.
The spectator was removed by security after taking Rory McIlroy's club at the Scottish Open. (Photo by Ross Parker/SNS Group via Getty Images)

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While the incident sparked major concerns over maintaining safe distance between fans and players in the current environment, World No.1 Rahm was quick to see the funny side.

"He came in so confident and we thought he was going to take a picture or something," said Rahm, who set the early clubhouse target with a 65 to go 11-under overall on day two.

"We thought he was maybe part of the camera crew or a photographer. 

"Me and Rory didn't say anything. He was holding a six iron and I didn't want to get hurt.

"It didn't put anyone off. If anything it put a smile on our faces. It will be a pretty good story to tell in the future."

A Police Scotland spokesperson said a 35-year-old man had been taken to hospital in Edinburgh and that "enquiries are ongoing."

Fans were left stunned by the extraordinary scenes, taking to social media to express their disbelief.

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The Scottish Open is a tuneup for The Open Championship, which begins next week at Royal St George's in Sandwich, Kent, England. 

This is the first time spectators have been allowed to watch a golf event in Great Britain since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

with Reuters

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