Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 10 July 2014

United States just loves Rory McIlroy

Golfer Rory Mcilroy, left, tees up a tennis ball to hit to Maria Sharapova as Caroline Wozniacki looks on in the BNP Paribas Showdown exhibition tennis match Monday, March 5, 2012, at Madison Square Garden in New York.

The world’s number one golfer first heard the phrase even before he sank the final putt to win the US Open: “Rory McIlroy, America loves you.”

It was just one over-excited Stateside fan, but it seems he was speaking for millions.

And some 11 months on from that staggering victory at Congressional, the love affair between Rory and the Americans is deepening.

US commentators have been going crazy about the Holywood golfer.

The New York Times headline screamed: ‘McIlroy holds off Woods and shows who's No1’, while the Washington Post said it was ‘a performance worthy of the new No1 player in golf’.

USA Today mused: ‘So, three years after McIlroy landed in America with a mop of unruly hair and plenty of hype, the young man from Northern Ireland has achieved his lifelong dream.’

It seems McIlroy is so unbeatable right now he even won a point off tennis star Maria Sharapova hours after being declared world No1.

He was at New York’s Madison Square Garden on Monday night to cheer on girlfriend Caroline Wozniacki in an exhibition match when he was invited onto the court with Wozniacki a game from losing the contest.

Dressed in jeans and a sweater, McIlroy showed off a one-handed backhand, and Sharapova hit his lob wide, gifting him the point.

Asked if he was surprised, McIlroy joked: ‘I’ve won a few off Caroline.’

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