Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 21 October 2014

Holywood still has pride for its golfing hero Rory

Rory McIlroy’s Masters campaign ended in tears as he went from being leader of the pack to 15th place by the end of the Augusta Major.

It wasn’t until the final day that the stress of the game, or an internal struggle made him ‘unravel’.

He said after the disastrous third day of the competition: “I hit a poor tee shot on 10 and sort of unravelled from there.

“I'm very disappointed at the minute and I'm sure I will be for the next few days, but I've got to take the positives — I was leading for 63 holes.

“I will have plenty more chances I know and hopefully it will build a bit of character in me as well.

“I can't really put my finger on it, but I lost a lot of confidence with my putting.”

Now Rory McIlroy will have to start all over again and try to take the defeat in his stride if he is to return to form.

It will be the fans and family of the golfing ‘boy wonder’ who will have to wait with baited breath to see if that will happen.

Steven Crooks, professional of Holywood Golf Club, said the atmosphere in the club at the weekend was buzzing, with over 100 members cheering Rory on.

He said: “All of the people in the club house were cheering him on.

It’s just very disappointing to see, but there will be other tournaments and other championships and he’s young still.”

Chris Peel, Principal of Rory’s former school, Sullivan Upper, said the entire school was behind him the whole way.

Principal Peel said when he was being interviewed at the school on Monday, he asked a group of pupils if they wanted to be interviewed instead of him on television and they replied simply: “We still believe in him.”

In an interview with the Community Telegraph he said: “We share in his disappointment.

“For a young man to take that sort of pressure, and to do so well for most of the competition and then to unravel like that, it’s a learning experience.

“The thing we need to keep in mind is that it was a golf game, and that’s all it was.

“We still hope he can win a Major by 25, and he has four more years to do that.”

Mr Peel said that with the amount of talent the boy showed from first year in Sullivan to where he is now, it would not be difficult to see him do it: “Lots of teachers and pupils agree,” he said.

He spoke of the Assembly held on Monday where first, second, third year and upper sixth were asked ‘off the cuff’ how many of them watched the Augusta Major.

“Around three quarters of the hall put up their hands, even though some of these pupils have only joined the school this year they still know who he is.”

He said it was positive that Holywood, being so small, had a celebrity that children so young could recognise and support.

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