Rory McIlroy’s parents are said to have been left distressed by “100% untrue” claims that their marriage is in trouble.
A source close to the star golfer said a newspaper report that Gerry and Rosie McIlroy’s relationship was under strain had left them upset as they prepare to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary.
The source described the claim as “complete nonsense”.
“They are perfectly happy together,” the source said.
“They have recently been on holiday together and are just about to go on holiday together again and are soon to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary.
“It’s obviously very upsetting and distressing for both of them but is absolutely, 100% untrue.”
Meanwhile, a lifelong friend of the McIlroys backed the couple who were seen dining together at Holywood Golf Club on Saturday.
The pal, who has known the pair for more than 40 years, said the allegations were “totally without foundation”.
Gerry was said to be at the family home yesterday enjoying a short break after travelling with his golf ace son for a few months.
“It’s utter rubbish,” the friend said. “Gerry is away a lot with Rory but it’s well documented his mum doesn’t like to watch him play so the lifestyle suits the pair of them. Their marriage is as strong as ever.”
Rory hit the headlines last month when he won the USPGA — his second major — aged 23. And his thoughts weren’t far from home after he got his hands on the Wannamaker Trophy. He thanked his dad Gerry, who embraced him after he clinched victory, and mum Rosie, who watched from the family home near Holywood as usual.
The sacrifices the pair made over the years to ensure Rory’s progression to the upper echelons of the game are well-known.
Gerry grew up just 200 yards from Holywood Golf Club, where he eventually honed his skills as a near-scratch golfer and worked as a bartender. When Rory was still in a stroller, Gerry would park him at the driving range.
It was not long before Rory became so obsessed with golf that he was hitting balls in the house, chipping them through an open kitchen door and into the mouth of his mother’s clothes washer.
By the time Rory qualified for his first professional event at 15, Gerry and Rosie were juggling jobs to help their son succeed.
Rosie worked the night shift at the 3M factory and looked after the house during the day. Gerry cleaned the locker rooms at a rugby and cricket club in the mornings, worked as a bartender in the afternoon, then worked at the rugby club bar until midnight.