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Rory McIlroy to hand out the gongs at ‘home’

By Brian Rowan

Major Champion Rory McIlroy returns to his golfing roots on Friday.

After nursing a wrist injury through four rounds at the USPGA Championship, he is due back at his hometown club in Holywood — a brief visit to present the prizes in the Classic competition that carries his name.

The event, a fundraiser for the club's young players, stretches across 12 hours with every tee-time booked between six in the morning and six in the evening.

And, under the McIlroy radar, a new story and talent is emerging at the Holywood club.

Two recent wins by teenager Jess Carty are being viewed as confirmation of her ability to go places in the golfing game.

First, there was her victory in the Scratch Cup at Belvoir, including a course record. And then came three rounds of 73,72 and 76 to win the Connacht Girls Under 18 Championship.

“She's benefiting from her hard work over the past couple of years,” Holywood club professional Stephen Crooks said.

“She's had a great month and is developing rapidly.”

And, in that place that produced the golf genius of Rory McIlroy, Crooks predicts “a really good future” for the club's emerging golfing talent.

Jess Carty is 16, her golf handicap is two, and her immediate competitive focus is on the Inter-pros and then playing for Holywood in the all-Ireland club finals alongside Rachel Cormier and Hannah King.

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