Rory McIlroy’s folks handling him just great, says Papa Williams
One of the most famous fathers in world sport has sent his congratulations to the parents of Rory McIlroy following the Holywood star's heroics at the US Open.
In an interview with the Belfast Telegraph, Richard Williams, dad of tennis legends Venus and Serena, said that Rory's mum Rosie and dad Gerry can look forward to more glorious moments, such is the incredible talent of their son.
After McIlroy sunk his final putt at Congressional Country Club in Maryland on Sunday, he hugged his dad and told him ‘Happy Father's Day' echoing what happened at Pebble Peach last year when fellow Ulsterman Graeme McDowell embraced his proud pop Kenny following his fantastic US Open victory.
Williams knows exactly what it feels like to savour the triumphs of your offspring, with Venus claiming seven grand slam titles and younger sister Serena taking home 13 to date.
Rory might just have won his first major, but like anyone everyone else who has watched the 22-year-old from Holywood in Co Down, the American feels further glory beckons.
“He has the chance of being great,” said Williams, after watching Venus come through her first round match at Wimbledon yesterday.
“For the future, I would say to him to stay relaxed, enjoy the game and play it the way he sees it — just go out and play your game Rory.
“And remember now his game — he hits the ball so far — is the one to beat.”
In a message to Rory's parents Gerry and Rosie, Williams said: “Well done to them too. This is a great time for them.
“I would say that this is just the beginning because your boy can go on a roll now.
“With everything that will happen Rory (on the back of winning the US Open), they just have to be good parents as they have been, and stay out of the way.
“When you begin to live the life the child is living then you have a problem.
“To me it looks like his parents just sit back and let him do it and that's the way to be.
“Personally, with Venus and Serena, I enjoyed their junior matches more than the professional matches.
“The best match I ever seen Venus play was in the juniors and the best Serena match was also in the juniors.
“Mentally they are tough and that has helped them through their careers.
“I think Rory has that mental toughness too and he's also got the game.
“That will help him win more in the future.”