Hat tip to Kyle Porter for this great little story of one fans encounter with Rory McIlroy at a gas station in Louisville.

From the blog Vaught's Views.

LOUISVILLE — My son, Jonah, and my daughter, Maggie and I followed Rory McIlroy for most of the back nine at Valhalla Friday.  After very poor holes at 10 and 11, he was on fire for 12-18, a lot of fun to watch, 5 birdies in the last 7 holes.

Maggie, a 15-year-old sophomore at South Oldham High School, took an instant liking to him.  She hinted that she would like his autograph, and I told her that would be nearly impossible during a competitive round.  She managed to snap a few quick photos of him from her iPhone along the way while the Valhalla camera police were not looking.

When Rory made his birdie putt on 18, we left Valhalla.  My wife picked the three of us up and we headed toward Louisville on Shelbyville Rd. to fill up the gas tank and get dinner.  As we pulled into the Thornton’s just down from Valhalla, I noticed someone wearing the same shirt and hat that Rory wore today, did a double-take, and realized it was actually Rory McIlroy.
He had just stepped out of the driver’s seat of his “PGA Official” Mercedes-Benz silver SUV.  He was going to pump the gas himself, but his cell phone rang and he got back in the SUV.  My wife pulled our car into the gas pump right in front of his.  As I hopped out of our car, Rory’s caddiy hopped out of the SUV.  Rory sat in the driver’s seat and finished his call.  Maggie got out of our car and I handed her my PGA Ticket and a pen and told her, “Now is your chance.”  She didn’t waste it.

Maggie asked the caddy if she could approach Rory, and he said “Sure.”  She then motioned to Rory, and he smiled and waved her toward him.  She said, “Hi, I’m Maggie, how are you?”  Rory said, “Oh, I’m a little tired, but feel pretty good.  I had a good day today (66), could have been better.”
Rory signed the ticket with a Sharpie pen he had in the SUV. Maggie wished him good luck, and about that time I wandered over with my iPhone camera.  I said hello and asked if he minded if I took a photo of him and Maggie. He smiled and said, “Sure, that would be great,” in his charming Northern Irish lilt.
I took a few photos and wished him good luck.  I then said, “I knew you before you were famous.  I was one of a handful who followed you at the Open Championship at Turnberry in 2010 when you had long hair.” (Everyone else, it seemed, was following Tom Watson at that event.)

photo 2He smiled, gave a small laugh, shook his head and shook my hand.  His caddy and I finished filling our tanks.  As I got back into our car, I noticed a small crowd had gathered, watching the whole encounter.  
But the one thing that shined brighter than the sun today was the smile on our daughter’s face.  That smile hasn’t left .  I think Rory has a new #1 fan.

He’s the #1 golfer in the world and more importantly a fine young man.  Those two don’t always go together.  He could have easily ignored us and we would have understood — after all, he is trying to win a major championship.  But he didn’t ignore us because he has character and recognizes the importance and his responsibility as an ambassador of the game.  He took just a minute of his time to create an experience that we won’t forget.

The man is one of the best drivers in golf, drives his own car and was going to pump his own gas. And he’s even driving on the wrong side of the road compared to how he learned to drive in Northern Ireland.  Success has not gone to his head, and I hope that it never does.  If he keeps his feet on the ground, it’s hard to say how much of his potential that he will achieve.

Join the GolfCentralDaily community on Twitter for loads more comment on and off the course.
Share To:


Uncensored, independent, inside the ropes Tour golf news and spoofs from the world's best golf blog!

Post A Comment:

0 comments so far,add yours