Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 1 June 2016

Amazing Rory McIlroy is a true champion

Editor's Viewpoint

Published 21/07/2014

There are hardly any words left to do justice to the remarkable career of Rory McIlroy whose achievements in world golf speak for themselves. His success in winning the Open this weekend is further evidence of a golfer with outstanding talents, and his latest victory was won in a field of other superb golfers who were chasing him hard for the title.

Rory's victory at Royal Liverpool puts him on a pantheon with two other legends of world golf – Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods – with whom he shares the extremely rare distinction of winning three Major championships by the age of 25.

Rory has now won the greatest prize of all – the Open – to add to his previous titles, the US Open in 2011 and the US PGA a year later. There is little doubt that he is well on the way to completing a Grand Slam.

Sometimes it is hard to believe that he has such a wise head on young shoulders, and yesterday he had to fight all the way to stay ahead of his talented rivals. He did so with consummate skill and a steely determination, as well as his remarkable flair, all of which demonstrated the hallmarks of a true champion.

Golf is such a notoriously difficult game that nothing can be taken for granted, and even Woods, who once dominated the sport, ended away down the field at Royal Liverpool this weekend.

Therefore it is all the more remarkable that three of Northern Ireland's top golfers have all won Majors in recent years – with Graeme McDowell and Darren Clarke joining Rory in a unique trio of achievers.

Rory's latest victory was not only a triumph for himself, but also for his native Northern Ireland. Millions of golfers are aware as never before of the massive array of talent coming from such a small province, and the good image of Northern Ireland has once again been shown around the world.

Rory McIlroy, like his two compatriots, is not only a great golfer, but also an outstanding ambassador for Northern Ireland, and he was quite right to use the opportunity this weekend to thank the golf authorities for making it possible to bring the Open itself to Royal Portrush after such a long absence.

Rory McIlroy has once again proved that he is a mighty champion in every way. He deserves all our thanks and congratulations for his almost incredible achievements on the golf course.

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