Belfast Telegraph

Win or lose, Rory is a true champ

Editor's Viewpoint

All eyes will be on Augusta in the next few days when Rory McIlroy will attempt to win the Masters golf tournament and to achieve the coveted Grand Slam.

If he does so - and there is still an "if" - McIlroy will enter the golfing hall of fame, and will be recognised as one of the best golfers of all time, joining people like Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods inachieving such a rare feat.

McIlroy is currently the world's No 1 golfer, and his rise to this sporting height from such a humble background, and at such a young age, is truly sensational.

He has achieved so much already that it is difficult to understand the magnitude of his success.

A champion golfer requires not only remarkable skills, but also courage, a little good fortune, and always the will to win.

McIlroy has achieved much on the course, but his record off the course has been equally impressive.

He has been a first-rate ambassador for the game and for his native Northern Ireland, and he has helped to put this small country firmly on the world's stage.

He has also shown a caring side, and no-one will forget his work for charity, and particularly his generous financial support of Daisy Lodge, a ground-breaking therapeutic centre providing support for children suffering with cancer and their families.

McIlroy was pictured with Caleb Overton, who suffered from cancer, at the opening of Daisy Lodge in Newcastle, and sadly the young boy who won Rory's heart died recently.

McIlroy has faced his own challenges in recent times, including the break-up with his fiancé shortly before their marriage, and a difficult court case with his former agents in Dublin.

Nevertheless, he has shown the strength to keep moving forward.

He will need all his strength and courage, as well as outstanding skill, to stride down the Augusta course with the eyes of the golfing world, the media and his many wellwishers, upon him.

The Masters at Augusta is the final piece in his remarkable jigsaw of golfing achievement, and everyone in this part of the world, whether they are golfers or not, will wish him every success.

Golf has its own way of producing winners, and whatever happens in Augusta, McIlroy will always be a champion for the people of Northern Ireland, whatever their background.

Belfast Telegraph


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