Monroe (USA): Rory McIlroy has revealed the details of a bizarre incident which led to a spectator being ejected from the Wells Fargo Championship during Thursday’s first round.

Rory McIlroy
Rory McIlroy

Defending champion McIlroy had just teed off on the par-three sixth hole at Quail Hollow, his 15th, when a golf ball with an earplug attached to it was thrown onto the tee box.

McIlroy, who came close to a hole-in-one and holed from four feet for birdie in his opening 73, said: "It was sort of weird. That’s never really happened to me before." The World No 3 Irishman’s playing partner Rickie Fowler was preparing to hit his tee shot when the ball landed, but laughed off the incident after carding a one-under-par 71.

"So random," Fowler said. "The guy tried to say it was a gift. I don’t know why you would give a gift of a golf ball with an earplug attached to it."

McIlroy pointed out the spectator to security officials and he was removed from the course.