McIlroy sets his sights on top of the pyramid
RORY McILROY can underscore his reputation as the King Tut of European golf today when he tees it up in the first round of the SODIC Egyptian Open in Cairo, WRITES KARL MacGINTY.
This is McIlroy's first appearance on Europe's development circuit, The Challenge Tour, and the €200,000 appearance fee the World No 9 has reputedly been paid shows this event's determination to put itself on the map .
The Egyptian Open is expected to grow into a fully fledged European Tour event. For the moment, it gives Boy King McIlroy a rare chance to meet some former competitors from the elite amateur circuit.
They include his 2007 Walker Cup team-mate Lloyd Saltman and defending champion Steven Tiley, just two of the players hoping to win, or cement their place at next week's 45-man Challenge Tour Grand Final in Italy.
For McIlroy, the aim is far simpler. "Yes, I'm here to help promote the event," he said. "But the bottom line for me is winning, though knowing a lot of these boys as I do, that's going to require some great golf."
Kilkenny's Gary Murphy and Athlone's Colm Moriarty are among those hoping to challenge McIlroy for the €28,182 first prize and the paltry 12 world ranking points on offer.