The first World Golf Championship event being held in Mexico City had prominent story lines coming into Thursday: the return from injury of Rory McIlroy, the last three PGA Tour winners participating, and 49 of 50 of the top players in the rankings involved.
What the organizers didn’t count on? A version of “Montezumah’s Revenge.”
That’s a cute way of saying, the stomach stuff hit a couple of prominent players, hard.
McIlroy was playing for the first time in 2017 after suffering from a stress fracture in one of his ribs and played well at Club de Golf Chapultepec shooting 68 and is one off the pace. But his two birdie, one eagle (photo above), and one bogey day had another “unsettling” aspect:
Rory McIlroy, 3 a.m.: After food poisoning, "just worshipping the porcelain bowl."
Rory McIlroy, today: 3-under 68, one shot off the lead.
— Jason Sobel (@JasonSobelESPN) March 3, 2017
Yes, McIlroy was apparently suffering from some form of stomach ailment in the middle of the night, but held it together to play well enough to hang one behind of Phil Mickelson, John Rahm, Lee Westwood and three others tied at -4.
Fine. Then, we found this out late Thursday afternoon:
Henrik Stenson WDs mid-round with a stomach virus.
— Steve DiMeglio (@Steve_DiMeglio) March 2, 2017
Now, we have two of the most prominent golfers in the world suffering from intestinal issues. There was no further update on Stenson, other than he could not continue and left. But on the heels of McIlroy’s similar situation an eyebrow has to be raised.
McIlroy told the media it was bad Mexican food on Wednesday affecting him and that he felt very fatigued over the final few holes of his opening round. We don’t know if it was food that caused Stenson’s issue and we should also point out that McIlroy was quick to say he suffered from similar stomach problems playing in China last winter.
However even though it’s 2017, it has long been understood that drinking the water in Mexico isn’t the safest or the smartest. The phrase “don’t drink the water,” has been around for more than 40 years.
So much so, that when the NFL has staged games in Mexico City, including last year when the Oakland Raiders and Houston Texans played a Monday Night Football game, the teams would routinely bring in case after case after case of bottled water. Thus, urging their guys and travel staff, etc. to not risk illness by drinking out of the Mexican tap system.
Again, there’s no known connection to two of the top players in this WGC event suffering from stomach problems on the opening day , but it’s also highly coincidental.
Hopefully, for everyone’s sake, it’s isolated to those two and unrelated to “the aqua.”