Belfast Telegraph

Is Holly in mad race with Caroline to Tweet Rory?

By Gail Walker

Holly Sweeney needs to knock the Tweets to Rory on the head. We've got the message. Holly is magnanimous, Holly has moved on. Holly has found a life of her own.

For most of us the fact she didn't charge at him with one of his own golf clubs after he dumped her so soon after his big win last year was evidence that here was a young woman who was bigger than the relationship that had catapulted her into the spotlight.

In terms of post-relationship etiquette, she showed real substance. While many women twice her age would have ended up wailing I Will Survive while mascara coursed down their tear-soaked face, Holly simply got on with it, smiling every time a camera came her way and never uttering a single bitter word in public.

With her Golf Pros and Tennis Hoes theme, she was even able to poke gentle fun at her ex in RTE's Come Dine With Me, which we all took in the spirit we thought it was intended. More recently there was that engaging performance, again on RTE, on Brendan O'Connor's Saturday Night Show where she adroitly sidestepped his blunt and intrusive interrogations.

But enough already. We've seen numerous examples of Holly's strength of character, her grace under pressure. It's time now for her to do her own thing and stop behaving like a kind of Twitter stalker.

Last week cynics might have wondered if Holly was actually trying to beat Rory's girlfriend Caroline Wozniacki to the first Tweet after the young Co Down player was crowned best golfer in the world.

No sooner had he putted his final shot than Holly took to Twitter: 'Well done @mcilroyrory! The hard work paid off.'

Alas, she wasn't quite fast enough to pip Caroline to the post. 'Amazing performance by @mcilroyrory! Tournament win and new world number 1!! Deserves a good celebration!!:)' she wrote.

Of course, Holly's Tweets, while no doubt well-intentioned, serve as a very public reminder of Holly's former relationship. And perhaps Holly - trying to build a media profile - reckons the association with Rory remains her strongest selling point.

But she needs to play this one very carefully indeed. For Rory has most definitely moved on - to Caroline.

And while Holly is no doubt taking her usual civilised approach to these matters, there is also a risk of looking rather tragic, as if she is still vying with Caroline in a scramble for Rory's attention.

Adding further piquancy, a day later Rory and Caroline's obvious happiness was played out for the world to see when he larked about with her on court in New York. After his triumph, he'd immediately flown to her side.

Like Holly, we all find it impossible not to have a special place in our hearts for Rory - despite his youth, he wears his success lightly. There is no ego, instead an innate modesty. Endearingly he often looks as astonished as the rest of us that he has achieved so much at just 22. He's brought great glory to Northern Ireland and no matter what the future brings, we know he'll always have a stake in this place; its fortunes - and ours - matter to him.

It's sad his relationship with Holly ended but they were very young. These things happen.

No doubt, too, Caroline understands the peculiar pressures of his world. Nor can she be thrilled at Holly's Tweets. Even if you're one of the world's top tennis players, you're still a woman, with all the insecurities that brings. Who's to say she doesn't Google the gorgeous Holly and think 'I'm a bit bicep-y compared to her.'

Let it go, Holly. We know you wish Rory well. You've a fab apartment, a burgeoning career, good friends - and you've proved your mettle. That's enough to make it on your own.

Being defined for the next decade by someone you went out with in your teens will just start to bore everyone. Rory's been a great launch pad, but it's time to take off without him.

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