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The Open at Portrush: 'Overwhelmed' Rory McIlroy reveals how he fought back tears

Rory McIlroy on the 18th green during The Open at Royal Portrush this year
Rory McIlroy on the 18th green during The Open at Royal Portrush this year

By Staff Reporter

Northern Ireland golf star Rory McIlroy has revealed how he fought to hold back tears during his unsuccessful bid to win the Open at Royal Portrush earlier this year.

The Holywood superstar - who had already lifted the Claret Jug in 2014 - was the hometown fans' favourite to take the honours when the world's most prestigious golf tournament came to Northern Ireland.

But his homecoming dream turned into a nightmare as the hotly-fancied golfer had a disastrous start on the north coast course.

His tee shot which went out of bounds at the first hole was a sign of things to come, as McIlroy started with an eight.

"I think I was overwhelmed," the golfer reveals in 'The Open at Royal Portrush', a BBC NI documentary to be screened tonight.

"I was like 'wow, this is a little bigger than I thought it was going to be'."

For McIlroy, things didn't get much better - and despite a brief rally, by the end of the second round, McIlroy had not performed well enough to go forward to the final two rounds of the 148-year-old tournament.

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"There was a couple of times during that round when I had to stop myself from crying," McIlroy told the BBC filmmakers.

"It was as if the country had all got behind me and just gave me this massive hug.

"I've never felt a level of support like that before and I think I forgot how much I meant to people here, but more so I forgot how much they meant to me."

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