Belfast Telegraph

Rory McIlroy's incredible rise to top drives new Nike advert

By David Young

It tells the tale of how a young Northern Irish boy emulated his hero.

As our own golfing superstar Rory McIlroy prepares for the 2015 US Masters, his sponsors Nike have released a touching advert featuring Rory and Tiger Woods that's bringing a lump to the throat of golf fans everywhere.

It's a clever montage of home movies, TV clips and 'reenactments' as Nike delicately put it, from Rory's childhood, telling the story of how Tiger inspired him to reach for the stars.

The Nike ad comes as it was revealed that when Rory was just nine years old, he wrote a letter to Tiger, telling the golfing legend that he was "coming to get him".

The two-minute ad builds slowly, with clips of a baby-faced Rory watching Tiger on a black and white TV, chatting happily with his dad Gerry as he encourages the boy prodigy to practice hard to become as good as his hero.

The famous clip of Rory chipping golf balls into the family washing machine also gets a spin.

We hear the fierce determination in young Rory's voice as he tells his dad "just a couple more," as his father urges him to wrap up as the light fades over the north Down course where Rory honed his precocious talent.

Throughout these boyhood scenes, Tiger is presented as Rory's ideal, a remote, heroic figure from the TV, spurring him on to golfing greatness.

Just as Woods idolised the great Jack Nicklaus, Rory idolised Tiger.

"As a kid, I looked up to Tiger," McIlroy said.

"When I first saw him on TV, I remember being completely enamoured by the energy he brought to the sport.

"His will to win. His determination. His fight.

"It's been an incredible journey for me, going from massive fan to competitor," said McIlroy.

"To think that not too long ago I was that little boy watching him on TV to where I am now.

"He inspired me as a kid and he inspires me now.

"He's the best player I've ever seen."

As the elegiac music swells, we see a soaking wet teenage Rory practising his drive in the pouring rain, a testament to his tenacity as he sought to emulate his golfing hero. The scene shifts to the present day: Rory has now become one of the gods of golf, joining his idol Tiger at the pinnacle of his sport.

"Good shot there, man," Woods says to McIlroy, as they compete together on a lush fairway.

It's a touching moment as the old lion - or in this case, Tiger - acknowledges the strength of the young cub.

They turn and walk together down toward a distant green as the screen fades to black.

World No 1 McIlroy is hotly tipped for success in this year's Masters at Augusta to make a clean sweep of the Majors, while Tiger Woods has dropped out of the world top 100 golfers.

Read more:

This story of young Rory will leave a lump in throat of every viewer 

Rory McIlroy must play numbers game to be Master in Augusta 

Augusta Masters: Live leaderboard, interactive course guide, past winners  

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