Rory McIlroy says becoming a father for first time 'puts things in perspective'

Rory McIlroy and wife Erica Stoll. Picture by David Davies/PA Wire

RORY McIlroy has told how becoming a father for the first time "puts things in perspective".

The Holywood golfer said while his career is important to him, the birth of his daughter Poppy "makes the hard days a little easier to get over".

The four-time major winner and his wife Erica Stoll welcomed their first child into the world on August 31. Announcing the baby's arrival last month, McIlroy shared a photograph on social media of her tiny hand clutching his finger.

The golfer will tomorrow begin his attempt to end a six-year wait for a fifth major win as competes in the 120th US Open at Winged Foot, New York.

Speaking ahead of the start of the tournament, he said his daughter's arrival means he can "go home and be very happy", even if he has had a bad day on the golf course.

Holywood golfer Rory McIlroy announced the birth of first child Poppy Kennedy McIlroy with this picture on social media last month

"I think it just puts things in perspective a little bit," he told PA.

"My career matters to me and I care about it very much, but at the same time, it makes the hard days a little easier to get over, right?

"When I say it's not the be-all and end-all, it's a major championship and I've grown up my whole life dreaming of winning these tournaments, and that's not going to change, but if it doesn't quite happen, I can live with that and go home and be very happy and leave what's happened at the golf course, at the golf course.

"I think that's maybe something that I haven't done so well in the past.

"I haven't left my job at the office basically, I've brought it home with me, and I've let it affect my mood and how I am."

It will be the second tournament that the 31-year-old golfer has competed in since his daughter's birth after he took part in the season-ending Tour Championship at East Lake.

He is now hoping he can claim a second US Open title.

"When I start tournaments well, I seem to stay up there," he said.

"I started Pebble (Beach) last year with a nice score and stayed up there for the most part, (although) I didn't quite finish the week the way I wanted to.

"But that's been the big thing for me.

"If I can start and put a good solid round together on a Thursday, I'm usually right there."

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