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Cop who drove Rory to tee gets tough time from US fans

A US state trooper was today being blamed for costing America victory in the Ryder Cup -- but he doesn't look too worried.

Lombard Deputy Police Chief Pat Rollins happily posed for pictures with the world's top golfer a day after he saved Rory McIlroy's timekeeping blushes.

Rollins was working as player security at the athletes' hotel on Sunday when it was realised that the Northern Ireland star was not at the Medinah course.

A staff member at the hotel went to McIlroy's room where he was relaxing ahead of his crunch singles game.

But luckily for the 23-year-old the police chief was literally ready to roll.

The golfer hopped into the passenger seat of a high-powered police car to rush him to Medinah Country Club for his match with Keegan Bradley.

"I just wanted to make sure if I was manoeuvring around, I just wanted to make sure he was going to be OK with it," Rollins said. "I asked him, 'Do you get motion sickness?'"

McIlroy laughed: "I said 'I don't care if I'm sick, just get me to that first tee'."

Rollins made full use of the siren and flashing red and blue lights on his police car, plus the super-charged V8 engine under the bonnet to get McIlroy to the course in around 10 minutes.

Don Larson of Medinah Country Club explained: "He went right in the locker room, didn't say anything, didn't even tie his shoes 'til he got the first tee."

Ribbing

But McIlroy was on time thanks to the officer who was taking a pretty good ribbing yesterday.

"I've had plenty of people express that to me, if I would have gotten a flat tire, if I would have taken him to a different golf course," the deputy police chief said.

"It'll be something I'll remember all my life," he says.

It was also a dramatic day to remember for two young women who were working as transport officials for the PGA of America.

It was Maggie Budzar and Erica Stoll who first spotted that McIlroy wasn't ticked off their list as having left his hotel.

Maggie noticed there was no tick alongside McIlroy's name in her log.

When word came back to them that he hadn't left the hotel, the two young ladies, both in their 20s, raised the alarm.

"It was 10.30. I knew JP (Fitzgerald, McIlroy's caddie) had left about an hour earlier," Maggie explained. "I also knew Rory's tee time was 11.25 and that we still hadn't seen him!"

hnews@herald.ie


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