Rory McIlroy holds back tears after donating £500k Irish Open cheque to children's charities
From agony to ecstasy... Rory's torturous road to glory in emotional victory at K Club
An emotional Rory McIlroy had tears in his eyes as he donated his Irish Open winner's cheque for more than half a million pounds to a charity for sick children.
The 27-year-old golfing star from Holywood, Co Down, toasted victory at The K Club in Kildare with his fiancee Erica Stoll and his mum and dad Gerry and Rosie.
Before handing over £515,422 to his own charity, the Rory Foundation, McIlroy said: "I'm obviously over the moon and I'm very happy, but I had to hold back the tears on the 18th green.
"I even started to choke up a little bit walking off the green.
"It means an awful lot. This tournament now to me is one of the most important of my year.
"Not just because it is the Irish Open and it's home, but because of what we're doing charitable-wise as well.
"The kids we've helped out this week. The money we've raised will go a long way to making their lives a little bit better."
He added: "To win in front of my home fans and to look up and see my friends and family there is something very special for me. To finish like I did is something I'll never forget and I'm excited about the weeks ahead. Hopefully I can take this form into the summer.
"This is a tournament I have grown up watching as a kid and playing in as an amateur and basically dreaming about since I first held a golf club, so to win it today and win it in the fashion that I did and being host as well, means an awful lot."
Three children's charities will share in the windfall.
The charities, located close to the illustrious country club, include Barretstown, which offers medically-supported camping for seriously-ill children, the Jack and Jill Foundation for children with disabilities, and the LauraLynn Children's Hospice.
The Rory Foundation already supports Daisy Lodge in Co Down, an organisation for children suffering from cancer and other serious illness, and which received a £1m boost from the golfer's charity in 2014.
In the past, McIlroy's Foundation has donated hundreds of thousands of pounds to Mencap NI, a charity that works alongside children and young people with a learning disability.
It was McIlroy's first win of the season.
He trailed Scotland's Russell Knox by one shot with three holes to play, but excellent second shots at the 16th and 18th helped him to the birdie and eagle which saw him win by three.
McIlroy was the first winner of the Irish Open from Northern Ireland in 70 years.