Sport Golf

Saturday 22 September 2018

Rory McIlroy seems to have taken a cheap shot at Roy Keane

Rory McIlroy brushes off a young autograph hunter in 2014
Rory McIlroy brushes off a young autograph hunter in 2014
Cormac Byrne

Cormac Byrne

World number six Rory McIlroy has never forgiven Roy Keane for snubbing him when he went looking for an autograph as a starry-eyed child.

The Manchester United fanatic has held a grudge against the Corkman ever since.

The Northern Irishman was lauded on social media for making one youngster's day at the British Masters last week when he handed over a ball as he walked off a green.

“I was sort of surprised how that little moment last week became so big because it’s quite a regular occurrence on Tour.

“I mean, I must use between six and nine balls a round, and every time I need a new one, I look for a young kid in the crowd in between holes to give it to and walk to the next. So, it’s not anything out of the 
ordinary.

"And it’s not just me that does it; basically every golfer on Tour does it.

“But it just shows what such a small thing to me can mean to a kid, and that kid might be inspired to go and play. It’s a nice thing to be able to do. But I’ve had it go the other way, as well, where I’ve asked someone for an autograph as a kid and they didn’t give it to me and I’ve never liked them since.”

When asked to reveal who snubbed him, he said: “Roy Keane, who should be one of my heroes due to the fact he’s a Man United player.

“I remember I went and asked for his autograph at the Portmarnock Links Hotel when he was with the Ireland squad and he said ‘no’. I’m sure he’s all right, but it sort of stuck with me ever since, I guess. So that’s why, if a kid asks me for an autograph, I always try to do it.”

McIlroy's feelings on the matter may come as a surprise to the young man who tried to get an autograph from McIlroy after he claimed the 2014 Open Championship.

McIlroy received a lot of flak after appearing to brush off his attempts to get a treasured memento as he basked in his latest major triumph.

Ian Poulter defended McIlroy at the time by saying he was abiding by the rules, which state that no autographs can be signed until a golfer has handed in his scorecard.

The Northern Irishman could argue that he was following those rules but the optics were not good

Perhaps that fan will go on to become a sporting icon and recall to the media the day he was snubbed by one of the greatest golfers of all time.

Online Editors

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