In video: Rory & the washing machine

Published Monday, 20 June 2011
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Watch a young Rory McIlroy perform a golf demonstration with a difference in UTV 12 years ago, showcasing the incredible talent of the boy who was set to become the youngest US Open winner in 88 years.

In the archive video dating from 1999, nine-year-old Rory - who had just been crowned the Under-10 World Champion in Florida - is seen chipping balls into the drum of a washing machine on the Kelly Show in front of a live studio audience.

Young Rory tells Gerry that chipping air balls along the hall of his Holywood home, through the kitchen door and into his mum's washing machine is part of his training.

When asked what the best part of his game is, Rory says: "Chipping."

Rory's father Gerry and mother Rosie are in the audience, showing their commitment to the young prodigy's career.

The Americans have Tiger Woods. We have young Rory and, believe you me, this boy can hit a ball.

Gerry Kelly on UTV in 1999

Talking about Rory's Under-10 win, mum Rosie tells Gerry: "We didn't go over there to lose it."

Dad Gerry missed out on a medal collection ceremony at Holywood Golf Club on the night of the TV show. So Rory surprises him by giving him the medal in the studio instead.

"Even though you weren't at the dinner tonight, I want you to have this dad."

On Sunday, McIlroy clinched his maiden major title by eight shots with a 16 under par total at Congressional, sealing an historic back-to-back victory for Northern Ireland.

The new US Open champion celebrated his victory with his father on the 18th green, wishing him 'Happy Father's Day'.

Holding the trophy a few minutes later, the 22-year-old dedicated what is one of the most notable victories in the 111-year history of the tournament to his dad, saying: "This one is for you".

In 1999, young Rory told UTV Darren Clarke was his favourite Irish golfer.

Twelve years later, Clarke has withdrawn from this week's European Tour event in Munich because he wants to be in Northern Ireland for McIlroy's homecoming party.

Clarke sent repeated messages of encouragement to the 22-year-old, including one before the final round saying: "Show them how good you are."

The 42-year-old, who won his 13th Tour title in Majorca last month, did not qualify for the US Open.

© UTV News
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33 Comments
Ann Sabatino Pinto in IN wrote (1,162 days ago):
Rory is great, a class act, socially responsible, honest: a total package. It often strikes me how many athletes come to America to train, be coached, work, and excel but when the trophy is raised America cannot take credit for the outcome. I understand, but yet, I don't. Proud of Rory and hats off to he and his parents. Wonder why they brought him HERE as a child..... so he could receive the best? Good decision for all and I only wish him good health and future success.
fred colton in florida wrote (1,165 days ago):
A class act. A real gift to the golf world. But what do you expect, he's Irish!
Lloyd Hutchinson in Melbourne, Florida wrote (1,165 days ago):
What a great tribute to a great young man and golfer. I only hope Rory decides to compete in next year's Players Championship at Sawgrass so those of us who live in Florida will get the opportunity to see him live. He may not be a Tiger Woods yet but I wouldn't bet against him rep[lacing him as the best ever. He certainly is a well-grounded young man and is sure to become more popular than Tiger ever was!!
stan daugherty in atlanta, ga wrote (1,166 days ago):
I have played all over the world and watched golfers for fifty years and Rory is the purest golfer I have seen since Tiger was in his prime............Rory is much nicer than Tiger ever was and will be loved much more than anyone in golf. Such humility is so rare. When Rory is in his groove he is unbeatable. He will be in the Hhall of Fame for sure !
C mc guire in Canada wrote (1,167 days ago):
Well done Rory from McGuire's Canada,originallyCo Tyrone.( POMEROY ) We have a Quasi fan club - wigs and all - at Kjngsville Golf Club...You were a joy to watch and are a gift to professional golf...Regards Charlie and Ann
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