The Northern Irishman could not hold back his tears while speaking to Sky Sports’
Henni Koyack after a difficult weekend personally in Wisconsin.
Four-time major winner McIlroy’s par at the par-five 16th hole was enough for him
to oversee a 3&2 win over Tokyo Olympic gold medallist Xander Schauffele and
clinch a point.
That was his first point of the week as he admitted he felt he had let the rest of his
team down with his performances.
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But he showed just how much this team event – which Europe was set to lose by a
record margin – means to him with an emotionally charged interview.
While saying sorry for his own play, McIlroy made an emotional appeal to boys and
girls watching to pick up their clubs and be the stars of the future.
The Northern Irishman, 32, said: “I should have done more for them [my team-mates]
this week. “I’m glad I put a point on the board but I can’t wait to get another shot at
this. “It is by far the best experience in golf and I hope little boys and girls watching
this today aspire to play in the event or the Solheim Cup because there’s nothing
better than being part of a team.
“No matter what happens I’m proud of every player, our captain, and vice-captains.
“I wish I could have given more. I’m glad I got a point but it’s been a tough week.”
One said: “And that’s why we root for Rory McIlroy.”
Another commented: “Rory McIlroy, you are a champion and gentlemen. This sport
is lucky to have you.”
A fellow golf fan wrote: “Top pro. There’s no doubt Rory cares. Yes. Didn’t perform
well. Yes, his game is erratic at the moment. But he’s a true champion.”
McIlroy, one of Britain’s richest athletes thanks to his nine-figure endorsement deal
with Nike, could not hold back the emotion as he later spoke from the heart in a
second interview after his match