Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 31 July 2014

Now Rory is the new young lion

US Open Champion Rory McIlroy arrives at Terminal 5 of London's Heathrow Airport
Rory McIlroy pictured with the US Open trophy at George Best Belfast City Airport last night
BETHESDA, MD - JUNE 19: Fans watch the play of Rory McIlroy during the final round of the 111th U.S. Open at Congressional Country Club on June 19, 2011 in Bethesda, Maryland. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Rory McIlroy won the US Open with the kind of style, relaxation, dominance and sense of destiny that we have come to expect only from people born in other places far away. Funnily enough, Northern Ireland is now that far away place for golf fans - and romance fans - the world over.

The only thing that could possibly top Graeme McDowell winning last year's US Open was Rory pulling himself up from the devastation of the US Masters only a few weeks ago to triumph so spectacularly in Washington.

Plus, he's modest, down-to-earth, self-effacing, charming - while it would be too much to say those are characteristics of the Northern Ireland male down through the ages, it's certainly true to say that one look at Rory and you'd know where he was from.

Only Northern Ireland could produce the epic to beat the last epic. McIlroy has fulfilled one part of his potential and slaughtered all the doubters and cynics.

Sadly, for the rest of the world, that is, the other part of his potential is to dominate golf - and our TV screens - for the next 10 years.

It's goodbye Tiger. Here's the lion's Rory.

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