Northern Ireland's teenage golfing sensation Rory McIlroy was prevented from celebrating his first professional victory back home when heavy snow left him stranded at Heathrow.
He was among thousands of travellers caught up in chaos on Monday with his jet being unable to get a take-off slot due to the snow.
Rory's victory in the Dubai Desert Classic was the talk of the town back home in Co Down.
At Holywood Golf Club, where the 19-year-old is a member, the regulars can't wait to welcome him home.
The new number 14 in the world rankings has also secured a practice match with Tiger Woods at this year's US Masters.
Jim Lamont, a former club captain, summed up the feelings of everyone yesterday when he said: "Rory is an absolutely splendid ambassador for our club and the sport in general. It is an immensely proud day for everyone here in Holywood and for golf throughout Ireland.
"Rory is a real credit to his family and to this club and nobody could be more happy for him than his vast following of supporters here."
His uncle, Colm McIlroy, the Holywood Golf Club champion, has an added reason to celebrate the historic victory -- he collected a cool £1,400 from a £50 bet on him, winning at odds of 28/1.
Youngest swinger in town claims title
Rory McIlroy, from Holywood in Co Down, performed like a true matinee idol on Sunday as he completed an epic first victory as a professional.
And as his father Gerry proudly hugged his son, he recalled the first club he handed to the new Dubai Desert Classic winner.
Gerry and wife, Rosie, were first on the green to congratulate their son with his mother in tears as she wrapped her arms around the 19-year-old.
Gerry was overjoyed whereas Rosie was simply overcome and was still shaking many minutes after her son's winning putt had dropped.
"It's just an unbelievable result and I'm just so pleased," his father said. "But I will tell you one thing, Rory will learn a lot from that, and to get up-and-down out of that bunker was just brilliant," he said.
"It's a great win but what happened to him at Switzerland was probably the best thing that could have happened to him because if you have a look at his stats, Rory has played better from then."
And as his son held aloft the gleaming silver trophy, Gerry recalled that the first club he handed his then two-year old son was a John Letters cut-down 5-wood, that he still has in the family home.
The windows rattled at a jam-packed Holywood golf club as McIlroy's friends and relatives roared home his dramatic winning putt. And there was hardly a dry eye in the house as the 19-year-old bear-hugged his mother and then received a victory kiss from dad on the 18th green at The Emirates Club.
McIlroy banked a whopping €323,515 cheque for Sunday's win, boosting his earnings in just over 16 months as a professional to €1.767m while he's likely to become the youngest player ever to make it into the world's top 15 when the latest rankings are announced today.
Those who know the youngster best believe Tiger should keep a sharp eye out for their swashbuckling hero. Now he's achieved his all-important first win on Tour, they expect the floodgates to open for McIlroy.
"It's very exciting," said Michael Bannon, McIlroy's coach since childhood. "A lot of things were going through people's minds as yesterday afternoon unfolded, but you only need to win by one and he did it."
McIlroy finished in front of eight of Europe's Ryder Cup team yesterday and 17 of the world's top 50. One of Tiger Woods' best friends and long-time mentors, Mark O'Meara, last week said Rory's technique was more advanced than Tiger's at the same age.
"You read these things in the paper and sometimes it's hard to believe they are real," Bannon admitted.
"But Rory has got all the ingredients to make a truly great player."
Triple Major champion Padraig Harrington has described McIlroy as one player he'd pay to watch, an opinion Brian McIlroy, the youngster's uncle and one of the large throng glued to the TV set in the Holywood clubhouse over the weekend, heartily endorsed.
Brian has long been impressed by "Rory's sheer bloody-mindedness and determination".
The party went on long into the night at Holywood, helped in no small part when their young hero rang through in time-honoured tradition and left a sizeable deposit behind the bar.
McIlroy has many of the trappings of stardom, including a detached house in Holywood; a villa being built for him by his sponsors at Jumeirah Beach in Dubai and a top-of-the-range Audi car but he remains "our wee Rory" to the folks who know him best.