LURGAN man Micky McDonald watched with pride from the sidelines as his nephew Rory McIlroy lifted the splendid USPGA trophy at Kiawah Island.
He had followed him around the course for all four days of the Major Championship in South Carolina,
“It was an amazing event,” Mickey told the Mail. “And even more amazing when Rory won it. That was the icing on the cake.”
Micky, whose sister Rose is Rory’s mother, then enjoyed the after tournament party with Rory’s father Gerry and friends at the house they were staying in.
“The celebration was quiet enough,” added Micky. “We had a few drinks but Rory was tired after finishing his round and had to get up at six in the morning for a photo shoot.”
And when he returned home from the USA at the end of last week he linked up with Rosie.
“She doesn’t go to all the tournaments but sometimes misses the good ones,” he added.
“Everyone was over the moon about the way he played all week. Even when Ian Poulter came back in the final round nothing phased him. He was watching the scoreboard and knew what was happening but he kept very composed.
“What was also pleasing was that he was answering his critics.”
Some had been suggesting that McIlroy’s form was slipping but his massive eight shot victory put him back into the world number one spot.
“It was just a blip for him,” said Micky. “He was playing well and hitting the ball well. There was never any doubt about his ability.”
And the 23-year-old from Holywood still has a lot of important golf to play before the end of the season.
The money spinning Fedex series places him alongside Tiger Woods and then in September the Ryder Cup matches are played in the USA.
Micky (53), from Lakelands, has been travelling to the States each summer for the last 30 years to coach soccer teams.
He gave up the coaching four years ago and now visits family and friends.
A 17 handicapper in the Silverwood club he also played for Glenavon - famously scoring five in one match against Linfield - and for the Armagh GAA team at county level.
He is already planning his next trip to America in April of next year - to follow Rory as he looks to complete the third leg of the Grand Slam of golf by winning the Masters.
In 2010 he was leading going into the last round but dramatically collapsed.
“That probably helped him with the US Open the following year. It was a learning curve for him,” added Micky. “And he likes the course at the Masters best of all. It suits his game.”