Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport Golf

Why Rory McIlroy was wearing a Raptors basketball jersey after winning Canadian Open in Ontario

Will the supporters at this week's US Open, in California, be as impressed?

Rory McIlroy has declared his allegiance to the Toronto Raptors for the NBA finals but this week he's off to the US Open in California, whose Golden State Warriors are the opposition.
Rory McIlroy has declared his allegiance to the Toronto Raptors for the NBA finals but this week he's off to the US Open in California, whose Golden State Warriors are the opposition.
Gareth Hanna

By Gareth Hanna

No sooner had Rory McIlroy sunk the final putt at the Canadian Open on Sunday evening than he was draped in a red basketball shirt.

Onlookers from McIlroy's native side of the Atlantic could be forgiven for wondering what it was all about but the meaning certainly wasn't lost on his legions of supporters at the Hamilton Golf and Country Club.

In fact, if any of the Canadian golf fans weren't rooting for the Holywood man before the tournament, then his celebrations could certainly have welcomed more of them onside.

That's because there is one sporting event this week that most of them will probably be more excited for than the Canadian Open itself.

The Toronto Raptors, who play their home games only 40 miles away from the course on which McIlroy enjoyed his seven shot win, could make history tonight by becoming the first team outside the USA to win the NBA title.

They're in the NBA Finals against California's Golden State Warriors and victory tonight will be enough to secure success in the best-of-seven series as the Canadians are currently 3-1 ahead.

Fans will perhaps be glad McIlroy won't be attending tonight's game as he was in the crowd for the only one of the four matches they have lost so far, the second game at their home Scotiabank Arena.

"It was really cool to be there and be a part of and experience," he said. "I've always had an appreciation for other athletes and it's one of my favourite things to do is to go and watch other sporting events and see how other athletes handle their situations and pressures."

As if donning the jersey wasn't enough to impress the supporters, he also offered his own prediction for the series:

"Raptors in five," he said, referencing what he's viewing as an upcoming win for the Toronto side in tonight's fifth game of the series.

Cue rapturous applause.

But will the supporters at this week's US Open, at Pebble Beach, California, be as impressed?

Belfast Telegraph Digital

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph