Euro 2016: Rory McIlroy and pals' late dash to Paris by private jet for Germany game
From Pennsylvania to Paris - Holywood golf champion Rory McIlroy will be jetting out to the Euros in style with friends next week after competing in the US Open.
A source close to the golfer has told the Belfast Telegraph that McIlroy is planning to leave on Tuesday morning on a private jet, picking up six lucky pals on the way to watch Northern Ireland clash with world champions Germany.
Sparing no expense, the VIP group of the Green and White Army are also said to be staying at the luxurious Four Seasons, George V hotel in Paris.
Before he can join the party however, the world number three still faces one more day of competition at the US Open tomorrow.
In a well-timed stroke of fortune, a rain delay on Thursday allowed McIlroy to pass the time with fellow golfer Lee Westwood by watching Northern Ireland's stunning 2-0 victory over Ukraine. At the start of the Euro 2016 tournament, McIlroy had shown his support for the squad before their match against Poland in Nice with an inspiring video message.
"Coming home as a Major champion was one of the proudest moments of my career so far," he said. "It's an honour to represent Northern Ireland around the world - and to put 'Our Wee Country' on the sporting map."
He went on to encourage the squad, when walking out at the French stadiums, to "take a moment to think about our sporting icons, what they achieved, and how this is your chance to take your place alongside them."
Yesterday, McIlroy admitted that he would need to take an aggressive approach to his golf after finishing on a disappointing opening 77 at Oakmount.
"With the course playing so soft I might just hit a lot more drivers and be as aggressive as I can," said the 27-year-old.
McIlroy won his first Major at the US Open in 2011 and now faces a scrap to get back on top. Showing his fighting spirit he added: "The toughest thing is trying to stay positive and not getting down on myself."