Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 16 September 2014

Biting Back: Rory McIlroy's love life is a non-story

HOYLAKE, ENGLAND - JULY 20:  Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland kisses the Claret Jug after his two-stroke victory at The 143rd Open Championship at Royal Liverpool on July 20, 2014 in Hoylake, England.  (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
HOYLAKE, ENGLAND - JULY 20: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland kisses the Claret Jug after his two-stroke victory at The 143rd Open Championship at Royal Liverpool on July 20, 2014 in Hoylake, England. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

The frenzy in the red tops, and even some otherwise sensible newspapers, over Rory McIlroy's latest 'love interest' reminded me of the tale of a well known former Premiership footballer with more birdies on his scorecard than possibly Tiger Woods.

Telephoned late one Saturday night by the dear, departed News of the World, the one-time poster boy was informed the paper had obtained video evidence of him romping with a consenting young lady. Romping being a word you only ever see in tabloid newspapers, but no matter.

They were planning to splash the encounter all over the next morning's front page and what did he have to say about that?

"Well," he famously replied. "I'm young, I'm free and I'm single; I'm rich, I'm famous and I'm fit. I like the company of women and they seem to enjoy mine. So what's the story?"

Right enough, when you put it like that, said the reporter. They ran the story anyway and look where that kind of intrusion finally got them.

Am I missing something, or is it really remarkable and newsworthy that a young, single, successful multi-millionaire sportsman is stepping out with an extremely attractive young lady? Imagine the acres of anguished analysis if he wasn't?

Good luck to them. It will all end in tears if it carries on. Not the young couples' but for the intruders on their privacy as a bewigged beak peers down from the bench and borrows a line from that bemused Premier League footballer to enquire: "What's the story?"

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