The US Open champ and all-round nice guy, was at Ballyliffin Golf Club as part of his sponsorship deal with Oakley clothing and eyewear. The 22-year old golf ace touched down by helicopter around midday to be greeted by scores of local golfers and well-wishers. After posing for photos with his coveted silver trophy, he was whisked off to the clubhouse to be kitted out in his sponsor’s latest golf gear.
Then it was off to the 18th hole wearing a blue shirt and white trousers ensemble for the first shoot of the day. After lunch, the outfit of choice was blue-plaid trousers and a white golf shirt. Stylist Suzie Coen scored a button-hole in one after being hired by the American clothing giant to style the Holywood hero. The freelancer, who has worked with many other celebrities and on RTE fashion show, ‘Off the Rails’, said working with the down-to-earth Down man was “fabulous”.
“I cannot get over how accommodating he is. He is the nicest superstar I have ever met,” she beamed. “He’ll do anything you ask him to, nothing is too much trouble. He is just so pleasant. I haven’t met anyone who is so at ease with everybody, at every level. He is as chatty with the people working on the course as he is with the (advertisement) producers,” said the Galway-born stylist.
The arrival of the world number four golfer just four days after his record-breaking US win was a lucky coup for Ballyliffin Golf Club. Irish stylist, Suzie Coen, makes sure Rory is picture perfect for his sponsorship photo-shoot on the 18th hole. Club manager, John Farren, revealed that the photo-shoot had been booked some weeks ago. “This has been scheduled for a couple of weeks so we got very, very lucky,” said Mr Farren. “Rory has been an honorary member here since 2007. We made him an honorary member because of the phenomenon he was even at that stage and we are delighted to have him back here today.”
He said McIlroy’s win was a great boost to Irish golf generally and golf in the North and North West in particular.
Rory McIlroy’s US Open cup did the rounds for seven hours at Ballyliffin Golf Club yesterday as club officials, locals and children posed with it for photos. There was some surpise however, when it was noted that Rory’s name has yet to be engraved on the trophy. Lady captain Lisa Glover was also bowled over by the lucky-stroke visit.
“He was here a few years ago as a wee boy doing Scratch Cup and now he’s back as a US Open winner at 22. He has always said he loved playing here,” said the Antrim born golfer.
US Open champion Rory McIlroy pictured with Ballyliffin Golf Club captain, Colm McCarroll. Ballyliffin captain, Colm McCarroll, described himself as a “huge fan” and the golf prodigy as “a real gentleman”. And even the local garda chief, Supt Kevin English couldn’t hide his admiration as he and Garda Brendan Roche posed for the cameras with the cup.
Supt English said he and Gda Roche were “known to grace the fairways occasionally”. Asked how his boss faired on the greens, Gda Roche wisely quipped: “he’s the boss man, he’s a super player”.