Rory McIlroy’s full-swing flop shot is must-see TV


Rory McIlroy saved par with a flawlessly executed flop shot at the Italian Open on Friday.

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There are few cooler shots in golf than the full-swing flop. You know, the kind Phil Mickelson made famous. That short-game wizardry that entails a wide-open club face and acceleration through impact when your target is perhaps only a few feet away from you.

It’s a shot that’s easy to shank, easy to blade, easy to botch in myriad ways — especially for recreational players, who are often much better off using a bump-and-run.

Rare is the occasion when you’ll actually need a full-swing flop, but there’s no question that pulling it off immediately elevates you in the eyes of golf peers the world over.

rory mcilroy

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Sean Zak



Spectators at the Italian Open were treated to an impressive performance by Rory McIlroy on Friday, as he posted a second round of five-under 66 to take the tournament lead by one shot over Matt Fitzpatrick at the halfway point.

But the highlight of the day was McIlroy’s par save on the 183-yard par-3 4th hole.

McIlroy’s tee shot traveled 191 yards but ended up left of the green, leaving him nine yards to the pin.

Although he was pin-high, it was a tough look for an up-and-down, requiring several yards of carry over thick rough and fringe, followed by a slick green running away from him. Time to try a full-swing flop? Yes, indeed. And as you probably guessed, McIlroy executed it flawlessly.

As you can see in the video above, McIlroy’s divot traveled as far as the ball! He left himself less than six feet for the par save, and poured it in.

Although the shot looks downright heroic on camera, McIlroy was nonchalant about it after his round.

“Yeah, I short-sided myself a couple of times and was able to play some good shots and get myself out of it and holed the putts,” he said. “A few areas to try and tidy up but overall, a few good par saves which you always need.”

Here’s hoping for more of those kind of par saves in our own games.

Jessica Marksbury

Golf.com Photographer

As a four-year member of Columbia’s inaugural class of female varsity golfers, Jessica can out-birdie everyone on the masthead. She can out-hustle them in the office, too, where she’s primarily responsible for producing both print and online features, and overseeing major special projects, such as GOLF’s inaugural Style Issue, which debuted in February 2018. Her original interview series, “A Round With,” debuted in November of 2015, and appeared in both the magazine and in video form on GOLF.com.

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