Rory disappointed after early wake up call to watch Irish
GOLFING superstar Rory McIlroy was among the first to commiserate Ireland's rugby team on their exit from the World Cup - after catching an early wake up call to follow the match.
There was heartache for Irish rugby fans as the Ireland team were humbled by Argentina in Sunday's World Cup quarter-final in Cardiff.
The pain was felt by McIlroy more than 5,000 miles away in California where he had to get up at 5am to watch the game ahead of his final round at the Frys.com Open in Silverado.
The Holywood native - a regular at Ravenhill to cheer on Ulster - paid tribute to Ireland's efforts.
"You've done your country proud," he said on his Twitter account.
"Just wasn't meant to be... All credit to Argentina, immense all over the pitch today!"
McIlroy, who was in the crowd when Ireland beat France to make the last eight, had joined some of the Irish rugby players last week for a golf masterclass between training sessions.
He was among a host of famous names to take to social media following yesterday's loss at the Millennium Stadium.
Former Westlife singer Nicky Byrne said: "Heroic effort from the Boys in Green. Argentina on fire today. Looked like they had petrol for breakfast."
Comedian and broadcaster Dara Ó Briain posted: "And that would be that. Bravo, Argentina. Great performance. Gutted, though."
Earlier in the week, American country singer Garth Brooks had pinned his colours to the mast when he wore an Irish rugby shirt to show his support for the boys in green.
Meanwhile, deputy first minister Martin McGuinness congratulated Argentina whom he described as "well deserved winners".
"Hard luck #Ireland," he added.
The pumas had raced into an early lead and despite a typically determined fightback by the Irish - who came within three points in the second half - the damage had been done with Argentina eventually winning 43-20.
It was a huge disappointment for the thousands of supporters that had made the trip to Wales for the game - and many more that thronged into pubs in Ireland or followed the match with family and friends at home.
Cardiff had been turned into a sea of green ahead of the match as the number of Irish fans vastly outnumbered those in the blue and white of Argentina.
It was the first time Argentina had beaten Ireland since the 2007 world cup in France - which also led to the Irish being knocked out of the tournament.
Meanwhile Scotland also exited the tournament last night after Australia beat them to secure a semi-final place.
You've done your country proud @IrishRugby. Just wasn't meant to be... All credit to Argentina, immense all over the pitch today!— Rory Mcilroy (@McIlroyRory) October 18, 2015