Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 19 April 2014

Is Rory McIlroy's 'saviour' the most famous dentist in world?

Mark Conroy
Mark Conroy

A Northern Ireland man has quickly become the world's most famous dentist having been at the root of one of sport's biggest stories this year.

Mark Conroy began treating a young Rory McIlroy many moons ago – but little did he know he would still be looking after the golfer's pearly whites after he became the world's top player.

According to the Co Down star, his Belfast dentist came to the rescue after his walk-off during a tournament in the US last week.

Mr Conroy faxed a letter to the PGA Tour offices detailing McIlroy's ongoing problems with his wisdom teeth. The 23-year-old had blamed his teething problems on his short-notice decision to ditch the tournament.

At his now internationally-known practice, it was back to the usual drill yesterday. But it proved difficult to extract any information about Rory's dental woes as the Saintfield Road surgery was unable to comment due to patient confidentiality.

McIlroy has since said the decision was "not the right thing to do" and it was a "reactive decision".

"What I did was not good for the tournament, not good for the kids and the fans who were out there watching me," he told one US magazine.

Factfile

According to the rules of golf, a player cannot quit playing unless there is the threat of lightning or "some other good reason such as sudden illness". A golfer who quits must provide written evidence of his illness to the PGA Tour Commissioner within two weeks or face a fine or ban.

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