Rory McIlroy – what can you say? Northern Irish golf has been in great shape in recent years and he is its David Healy.
It’s not just the record of astonishing, trail-blazing achievement: although Rory spent the week demolishing practically every US Open record (Sir David did much the same during the 2008 European Championship qualifying group). It’s also in the way the two players conduct themselves.
McIlroy has self-confidence - he buried any notion to the contrary this weekend, with a relentless march towards his first major golf championship – but he’s also pleasingly grounded. What’s not to like?
He plays a great sport and he’s mastered it at a young age. He shows sportsmanship and poise on and off the course – even in the teeth of a supposed “melt-down” at the US Masters earlier this year.
He’s a proud and enthusiastic ambassador for Northern Ireland. No-one’s keener than Rory to fly the colours in the wake of a victory and he backs all of our other sports stars and teams to the hilt. You’ll find him following the fortunes of Ulster rugby and Northern Ireland football daily on Twitter.
The only chink in the young man’s armour is the fact that he’s a Manchester United fan – but hey, nobody’s perfect.
So here’s to Rory McIlroy and to the world’s golfing superpower – Northern Ireland. Home of back to back US Open champions.