Belfast Telegraph

Biting Back: US media have got it all wrong about Rory McIllroy

By Jim Gracey

An idiot American in a New York bar once knowingly informed me, without ever having visited this island, that our roads in the north were better than those in the south, as ours had been specially constructed to "facilitate the movement of the British military vee-hicles so as to prevent the dee-livery of food and supplies to the local population."

He knew this to be an unshakeable truth because he'd read it in an American newspaper. Yes, sir.

Twenty years on, the same standards of accuracy and ignorance with regard to our wee country continue to permeate the American media with the assertion by a New York Times writer that people here regard Rory McIlroy as "a spoilt brat" from a "leafy loyalist suburb". Rory? Holywood? Where do you start?

They could not be more wrong had they pigeon-holed him as coming from Camp Twaddell. Here is a lad whose background, as we all know, could not be further removed from spoilt brat, his painstaking work on the golf course to get where he is, being matched only by that of his folks on factory night shifts to give their lad his start in life.

As for flags and emblems, he told me himself how his determination not to be defined by politics or religion was more a generation thing than the result of his golfing fame. So do keep up, America.

That conversation took place at the Daisy Lodge respite centre for children with cancer and their families which Rory is personally bankrolling in Co Down, helped by many thousands of US dollars from a weekend New York fundraiser. Real Americans who know the real Rory McIlroy and proof that you can't judge a country by its idiots. Even America.

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