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Holywood star: no homecoming plans yet for returning hero McIlroy

Co Down club has been “like a media centre” since McIlroy’s victory though they’re unsure when they’re favourite son will return with the trophy.

Valerie Skinner with one of the buns baked by her son Colin, in Skinners Bakery in Holywood, Co Down today.
Valerie Skinner with one of the buns baked by her son Colin, in Skinners Bakery in Holywood, Co Down today.
Image: Julien Behal/PA Wire/Press Association Images

RORY MCILROY HAS hardly had time for his US Open victory to sink in and yet already there is speculation about his Irish return.

Speaking to TheScore.ie, Paul Gray, general manager of the Holywood golf club where McIlroy learned his trade, said that there were no official plans as of yet for the golfer’s homecoming party.

Gray said that a huge crowd at the golf club’s bar had watched McIlroy become the youngest person ever to win the US Open.

According to Gray, spectators watching from Holywood were nervous before the final day of golf yesterday, in light of McIlroy’s dramatic collapse when in a similarly commanding position at the Masters this year.

He added that “everyone settled down a bit” once he got off to a confident start yesterday.

He said McIlroy “kind of grew up here” ever since he began golfing in the club from the age of “seven or eight”, adding that they “always knew” he had the potential to reach the top tier in golf.

McIlroy’s success has put the spotlight on the Down golf club, located seven miles outside of Belfast, which, according to its website, boasts “breathtaking views of Belfast Lough and the Antrim Coast”.

Gray described how the club was “like a media centre” since McIlroy’s success, with several journalists looking to report on the place where it all began for the 22-year-old star.

When asked if he was expecting an influx of tourists following McIlroy’s win, Gray was optimistic, saying: “Hopefully it brings a bit of business.”

McIlroy broke several records on his way to winning the event yesterday, including Tiger Woods’ 12-under win in 2000.

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Paul Fennessy

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