Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 21 September 2014

Rory could really make a name for himself now

There has been one Padraig, a lone Tiger, and a couple of Randy's and Rex's, but, until now, no Rory has ever played in the Walker Cup.

And here he is, if you haven't already seen him a hundred times since that never-to-be-forgotten 'Open' baptism at Carnoustie.

It was a stylish, medal-winning performance that only rubber-stamped what we have known for most of two seasons - that Rory McIlroy would be Britain's first choice for Royal Co Down.

He's on the cover, too, of the September issue of Golf Digest Ireland, a timely bonus on the eve of a long-awaited leap into the professional game, and an exciting new career.

It was always in the cards that two Irish golfers would be in Britain's Walker Cup side, but who No.2 might be was anybody's guess given that four were running head-to-head along the home straight.

Happily, Jonny Caldwell, of Clandeboye, was first through the tape, his reward for a record six-birdie 65 at Western Gailes before Ireland streaked to victory in the European team championship. It was the proof selectors were looking for that this 23-year-old bank manager's son could shoot low numbers when they were needed.

Caldwell and McIlroy have also struck up the kind of bold, match-winning foursomes' partnership Cup captain, Colin Dalgleish, might be persuaded to try this weekend.

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