A GOLF fan is believed to have unwittingly pocketed superstar Rory McIlroy’s lost ball at the Open, which could have cost him up to £155,000 prize money.
Rory, 28, was penalised for losing his ball in the closing stages after a wild shot, costing him a chance of catching the leaders.
But a man was filmed apparently picking up a ball from shrubs and bracken.
McIlroy went on to finish joint fourth, picking up £365,000 in prize money. Without the two-shot penalty he could have been third.
He started the last day nine shots behind leader Jordan Spieth — and came within four of catching him — before the 15th hole drama at Royal Birkdale, Merseyside.
A fan who realised the golfer was striding towards him began filming on his mobile.
The photos shows another spectator — in shorts, trainers and holding a red umbrella — leaning towards thick grass. He then straightens up holding a ball and puts it in his pocket.