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Day that will be talked about for long time to come in Holywood clubhouse

Brian Rowan, who recently made a TV documentary profiling Rory McIlroy, watched the first round of the Open at Holywood Golf Club, where the teenager learnt to play

It was his big chance to play the part - and he took a leading role.

This was the Open - the finest stage his sport can offer, and Rory McIlroy just fitted in and then he took his bow.

He had his day on the leaderboard, his name just below and just above some of the very best in the golfing game - Woods, Garcia, Cabrera, to mention but a few.

And he's up there with Paul McGinley and Padraig Harrington, a big part of the early Irish challenge.

On the television they all wanted to talk about him - those voices of golf, Peter Alliss, Sam Torrance, Ken Brown and Mark James. And then Gary Lineker.

And young McIlroy, well he just played and performed, and he always looked the part.

In his local club they'll talk about it for a very long time.

They've watched him grow up, they know he's something special, and now they know that little bit more.

"He was fantastic - just fantastic," Joyce Fox told the Belfast Telegraph from Holywood Golf Club.

Rory's father Gerry grew up a neighbour of the Fox's in Holywood.

"It was marvellous," she continued.

As she spoke a cheer went up. They were showing the highlights of Rory's round on the box.

"It's just as good the second time round," Joyce said.

Philip Brady was there too, and what he witnessed was beyond what he expected.

He knows, Holywood knows, that McIlroy is good, but now they know he's very good.

Yes, it's only day one - only a start - there's a long way to go. That's the context of this Carnoustie story.

But McIlroy has produced a little magic - and locked his home club into his golfing spell.

Belfast Telegraph

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