This is an updated version of a story that first was published on Nov. 4, 2019.
Rory McIlroy was one of a handful of top players involved in a HSBC junior clinic on the eve of last winter’s WGC-HSBC Champions. Such were his extra duties as the world No. 2 (who has since ascended to world No. 1) that there came a point when players and spectators alike had mostly headed for home and the only person left on the range was an 18-month-old child.
Though the proud father was well aware that McIlroy was still around, he was not about to be pushy. Instead, things must have worked out precisely as he would have wished as McIlroy’s eyes were drawn to this infant with a seemingly insatiable appetite for golf. His backswing was less than conventional – he would look up to check that he still had his parent’s attention – but the follow-through was an astonishingly healthy swish which a smiling McIlroy was moved to imitate.
McIlroy saw himself in that child.
“I was that age when I started,” he said, by way adding to our conversation whi...
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