K Club fans bond with genius Rory
There is something rare and glorious about Rory McIlroy at his confident, aggressive best. One couldn't but fear some sort of catastrophe as he stood over his second on the par-five 16th at The K Club on Sunday, three-wood in hand.
Nobody had been going for the narrow green in two on Sunday. The smart play was to lay up, and he was only a shot back. And then, swoosh, in perfect balance. When the little speck of white landed softly on the green in the distance, you could only marvel at the boy wonder's talent, for he really does possess obvious, authentic genius with a golf club in his hands.
Less than a handful of players in the world would nail that shot, under those circumstances His 253-yard bash up the 18th to within inches of the pin underlined the point.
The upshot is that McIlroy is coming good as the season kicks into gear. He traditionally wins in spurts, so here's hoping his putter behaves. The week in Straffan also felt like a bonding experience. Maybe it's geography, maybe it's because he is so stratospherically famous he doesn't feel like one of us, but there's been something of a disconnect between Rory and Irish fans.
We don't dislike him by any means, but I've wondered do we love him, do we feel we know him? The past week helped enormously.