Rory McIlroy has ended the European Tour season as a winner and proved he’s a champion guy off the course too by fulfilling an amazing promise to a Blackpool golfer.
Two weeks ago we reported that four-time Major winner McIlroy had entered into a Facebook conversation with Barry Edwards of North Shore – one of almost a million who follow the Irish ace on social media – and promised to send the 40-year-old builder one of his drivers.
Barry never doubted the great man would be true to his word, and late last week a FedEx van duly arrived outside his Blackpool home to drop off a NIKE Covert driver.
His Facebook conversation with McIlroy had gone like this.
“Any chance of one of your old NIKE ones, fella?”
“Sure. I’ll send you a NIKE Covert driver. Served me well. Message me your address and my team will ship it to you.”
Barry: “Seriously? I was joking - lol. But would be very, very grateful. I have had mine about eight years now and it’s getting really tired.”
Rory: “No joke. Message me and I’ll have one shipped. Can’t guarantee 320-yard drives though!”
While McIlroy was driving 380 yards in Dubai last weekend to win the DP World Tour Championship in his inimitable style, Barry was taking his new pride and joy along to Staining Lodge Golf Club for some lessons with club professional Tony Johnstone.
Barry can’t wait to thank European Tour king McIlroy in person, and is hoping to attend a top tournament next year to do just that.
He told The Gazette: “I never doubted Rory would be as good as his word. I think it’s the driver he won The Open with last year. It’s such a wonderful gesture and I promise I’ll treasure it.”
Barry was quick to silence the social media cynics who suggested he’d be logging on to eBay to cash in on his incredible free gift.
“No way will I be selling it but I do have plans for it,” Barry assured The Gazette. “I went to give it a try at Staining Lodge because Tony Johnstone is a great guy. We’ll try to use the club to help each other – he’ll give me some tutorials and maybe I can help him raise some money.”
But Barry won’t be tempted to ask his superstar friend for any more free gifts.
“Rory mentioned giving away a pair of his golf shoes on Facebook but I daren’t ask,” Barry said.