When Michelle Madden decided to go to The Open she never expected to be flying home on a private jet with cousin Rory and the famous Claret Jug.
Rory’s brilliant win at Hoylake ended up with a family celebration in Liverpool on Sunday night and memories Michelle and her aunt Leeann McDonald will cherish for ever.
Michelle, who works at First Trust Bank in Lurgan, was able to join in the McIlroy party thanks to her generous boss.
“Leeann was already staying but I was back at the airport for my flight home when I got a text from my boss to say that I could have Monday off, so I headed back to Liverpool,” explained Michelle.
“I had managed to see Rory in the clubhouse after the presentation but didn’t expect to be at the celebration party. It was a great four days. Leeann and I only decided to go at the last minute. We arrived on Friday and walked round the course on Saturday and Sunday. But it was so hard to see him. We had to rely mostly on the big screens as there were so many people following him around. “I managed to take a few pictures but could not get that close. Even though he was in the lead we were still full of nerves on the final round. Sergio Garcia put up a brilliant challenge and afterwards was very gracious in missing out and congratulated Rory on his success.
“This is the one Rory wanted to win. We are all so pleased for him. His mum and dad Rosie and Gerry worked so hard to help him in the early days and it’s nice for them to enjoy an wonderful occasion like this.
“I didn’t mind missing my flight, a got a big hug from Rory when I got back to the party and of course I also managed to get home on the private jet - it’s the only way to travel,” smiled Michelle.