Golf fan appears to steal Rory McIlroy's stray ball during final round at The Open

A golf fan at The Open may have cost Rory McIlroy about £155,000 in prize money, after a video has circulated which appears to suggest the fan found an in game ball lost by McIlroy.

The Northern Irishman, who eventually finished fourth on the leaderboard (pocketing £365,000), was bearing down on the leading pack in the final round of play when a flailing drive was sent wide of the mark, bringing about a search for the ball.

Having begun the day nine shots behind leader Jordan Spieth, McIlroy came within four shots of the American before his bogey six on that fateful 15th ultimately left him wanting.

This two shot penalty administered because of the lost ball proved costly – McIlroy finished just one shot behind third place Li Haotang- a £155,000 difference in prize money.

But it could have all been different. Footage obtained by The Sun suggests one plucky fan may have found the ball.

As crowds gather around McIlroy, the man working the camera is heard remarking: “That fella just found the golf ball, he’s not told him! Terrible!”

Yes, rather than own up to his discovery, the man simply pops it in his pocket and blends in with the crowd – see the video below.

It remains to be seen if the mystery fan will emerge and what the reaction of McIlroy will be.

Can’t imagine McIlroy will be too impressed!

Up until that point, the former world No.1’s performance had gripped the crowd that day, with many believing a comeback to be on the cards as the Northern Irishman clawed his way into contention.

However, one rather fortuitous fan ensured it was just not meant to be.

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