1999: “Americans Have Tiger Woods, We Have Young Rory…”
By Stephanie Wei under US Open

This is A-MA-ZING.

Witness Rory McIlroy, who had just won the Under-10 World Championship in Florida, chipping during an appearance on the Kelly Show in ’99. The young Rory told presenter Gerry Kelly (who could have been a little less affectionate, but maybe it’s a cultural thing?) that he chipped balls through the kitchen door into his mum’s washing machine as part of his training.

Fittingly, Kelly said: “The Americans have Tiger Woods. We have young Rory and, believe you me, this boy can hit the ball.”

On Twitter Luke Donald wrote, “Classic! He still has the same chipping motion.”

Another video via BBC profiles the young prodigy, which can’t be embedded, but you can view here.

“Remember the swing and remember the name, for at just nine-years-old Rory McIlroy from Holywood is following in the footsteps of his golfing hero, Tiger Woods.”

Prophetic words from BBC reporter Rod Nawn when he interviewed a future US Open winner in 1998.

I don’t approve of the comparisons between Rory and Tiger, which are totally pointless and unfair, but I will say that Rory’s win confirms him as the brightest young golf star. Welcome to a new era.