Cacti loom ominously behind Rory McIlroy. (Matt York / AP)

During the Match Play Championship on Wednesday in Marana, Ariz., a simple shot by Rory McIlroy went  awry and a spectator paid a painful price in the land of cacti and such.

As the ball approached him, a spectator stepped backward (or perhaps fell backward) into the prickly clutches of a jumping cholla, whose needles attach themselves to people and animals with the slightest provocation. The result left him looking a little like a human porcupine.


(Allan Henry / USA Today Sports)

McIlroy defeated Boo Weekley 3-and-2 in the first round of the WGC-Accenture Match Play event.