Top award for McIlroy's golf mentor

Published Wednesday, 21 November 2012
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The man who helped make Northern Ireland golfer Rory McIlroy the world number one has received a prestigious coaching award.

Top award for McIlroy's golf mentor
Rory McIlroy with Michael Bannon. (© Getty)

Michael Bannon has been named UK High Performance Coach of the Year and, with typical modesty, says he wasn't expecting such an accolade.

"I'm just so delighted with it - I can't believe it," he said.

"When I got the letter a few weeks ago that the PGA and Ireland had nominated me, I thought they had got the wrong address."

And he credits McIlroy's achievements with boosting the level of interest in golf.

There is a Rory factor - there are lots of people watching golf who didn't know anything about it before.

Michael Bannon

Meanwhile, Team Europe's Ryder Cup hero Ian Poulter has said McIlroy should continue his success.

"I certainly think he would expect to win at least a major a year the way he has been playing," Poulter added.

"You would expect him to be on the leaderboard come Sunday at most of the majors next year. I think everybody's impressed."

Poulter's shasing his own major success, but knows it will be hard with McIlroy among the contenders.

"There are so many good players it's difficult to win one, but since September my golf's been an extension of the Ryder Cup.

"It's in me and it comes out at the Ryder Cup, so why shouldn't I be able to produce that week in, week out?"

In one respect, McIlroy can already claim bragging rights over Poulter - he's just overtaken him in terms of Twitter followers.

But while they both have just over 1.4 million fans on the social networking site, they should remember that Tiger Woods is now up to 2.7 million.

© UTV News
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