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'I asked for an autograph and he said no. I've never forgotten it': McIlroy reveals Keane snub

The golfer was asked about the young fan he gave his ball to at the British Masters last week.

Image: Niall Carson

LAST WEEK AT the British Masters, Rory McIlroy made a little boy’s day by handing him a golf ball on his way to the 16th tee.

The 28-year-old was asked about the incident at a press conference in advance of the Dunhill Links Championship and said it’s a pretty common occurrence for him to seek out a young fan and hand him a ball during a round.

His reason for doing so stems from a disappointing experience he had as a child.

“It just shows what such a small thing can mean to a kid,” McIlroy told reporters.

“I had it go the other way for me, where I asked someone for an autograph as a kid and they didn’t give it to me. And I’ve never liked them since.”

McIlroy pressed on and revealed who the guilty party was.

‘It was Roy Keane, who should be one of my heroes because I was, and still am, a huge Man Utd fan,” he said.

‘I went and asked him for an autograph at the Portmarnock Links hotel when he was with the Ireland squad and he said no. It stuck with me. I’m sure he’s all right but I’ve never forgotten it. That’s why, when a kid asks me for an autograph, I always try to do it.’”

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