Belfast Telegraph

Rory McIlroy celebrates success by grabbing a beer with pals in Belfast

By Amanda Ferguson

He is one of the world's richest, most successful and in-demand sportsmen – but Rory McIlroy doesn't forget his roots.

The 25-year-old from Holywood, Co Down, is no stranger to his birthplace and jetting home to Northern Ireland as much as his hectic schedule will allow to see family and close friends.

Yesterday fans spotted him in Coppi, an Italian restaurant in the Cathedral Quarter, Belfast, enjoying lunch with friends.

The golf champion took to Twitter on Thursday to share a photograph of his father Gerry along with a message highlighting his love of being in Northern Ireland.

"Dad... It's not a footrest, it's the claret jug!!" he wrote under an image of his father resting his feet on the trophy case housing the Claret Jug.

"Incredible few weeks, can't wait to get home and see the family!"

Rory and former girlfriend of six years Holly Sweeney have also exchanged some playful banter on Twitter.

Ms Sweeney (24) and her ice-hockey player partner Jeff Mason celebrated a baby shower at the weekend to mark the imminent arrival of their son.

Then yesterday she enjoyed a joke with her famous ex online.

When Taylor Made Adidas account manager Mark McDonnell posted a group photo featuring Rory, his best friend Harry Diamond and others on a night out, Ms Sweeney commented that all those in the photograph were wearing black, except Rory who is sporting pink.

"Black shirt brigade," she wrote.

Rory replied with "Slimming".

McIlroy is expected to be back in action next week at the Deutsche Bank Championship in the US, ahead of representing Europe at the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles in Scotland next month.

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