Rory McIlroy hosts golf master class for NI football team after Irish Open victory
RORY McIlroy celebrated his first day as Irish Open winner with a golf master class for the Northern Ireland football squad.
The Holywood golfer met with the team at Carton House in Dublin yesterday where he showed off some of the skills that brought him success at the tournament in Co Kildare over the weekend.
McIloy, golf's world number three, produced a sensational finish to snatch victory at The K Club on Sunday.
He finished three shots ahead of Scotland's Russell Knox and Welshman Bradley Dredge to claim the title and £515,000 prize money which he donated to charity.
The 26-year-old yesterday showed off the Irish Open trophy to members of the Northern Ireland football team at an event at Carton House.
McIlroy hosted a golf clinic for the squad.
The clinic was watched by respected golf commentator David Feherty, originally from Bangor, Co Down, who later carried out an interview with the four-time major winner for American television.
The event comes just days before the football team host Belarus at Windsor Park in their last home game ahead of the Euro 2016 championships in France.
Many of the players took to Twitter to thank him for the up-close and personal lesson.
Captain Steven Davis wrote: "Pleasure to meet @McIlroyRory after his Irish Open win. Hopefully he can inspire @OfficialIrishFA to success".
Conor McLaughlin also tweeted: "Class to have @McIlroyRory come down to the hotel and speak to the lads. Some drive on him".
Stuart Dallas wrote: "Nice to have @McIlroyRory come to the hotel and speak with the boys after yesterday's Irish open win".
Meanwhile, one of the charities to benefit from McIlroy's prize money donation last night said it was a "real gift of time".
The golfer donated his Irish Open prize fund to his own foundation, which hosted the tournament for the second year.
The Rory Foundation was established by McIlroy with the aim of bettering the lives of vulnerable children.
Last year it supported the creation of a short break centre in Newcastle, Co Down, for children with cancer.
This year the money from his Irish Open win will be divided between the foundation's nominated children’s charities in the Republic, Barretstown, the Jack and Jill Foundation and the Laura Lynn Children’s Hospice.
Jonathan Irwin, founder of the Jack and Jill Children's Foundation which helps families deal with the challenges of caring for a severely disabled child at home, said it was "the biggest single donation we've ever received".
"This is a real 'gift of time' from Rory McIlroy to the 300 families under Jack and Jill's wing," he said.
"Every €16 of this Rory McIlroy pot will fund one hour of home nursing care for children - so that's 20,833 home nursing hours total or 70 hours per family, which is just incredible.
"This means a huge amount to us in terms of building funds and in building awareness.
"And having a champion like Rory, being associated by such a high profile event, reminds our families that they don't walk alone. And I want to thank him sincerely, what generosity.
"This is the biggest single donation we've ever received. What a golf champion and a champion for children's charity."