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Now show you're one of us, Rory

WHAT'S Rory McIlroy up to today? Blowing up an inflatable shamrock for the big day tomorrow? Digging out his leprechaun hat?

Unlikely. He is probably chilling after his great big British knees up at the White House.

The world's number one golfer was part of a black-tie event to honour the British Prime Minister David Cameron. Rory had his stiff upper lip down pat as he chowed down at the formal State dinner. We love the game and we love Rory. But we are at our most patriotic when it comes to sport. And our most jingoistic when it comes to playing against the British. Are golf fanatics now to accept that if we cheer for Rory, we're cheering for another nationality? Not likely.

Supporting your country while watching sport is the most appropriate time to wrap the green flag around you. And there's nothing quite as satisfying as hitting the back of the onion bag when it happens to belong to the Auld Enemy. Rory is the latest in a long line of sporting heroes from the North in a similar position. Remember how we fumed when Barry McGuigan was called British after becoming a champion in 1985? Dennis Taylor won the World Snooker Championship that year as well and he too maintained a balancing act, hoping to be a source of pride to both communities.

So what's the story, Rory? If you're going to break bread with the best of British, just make sure you raise a pint of the black stuff tomorrow.