The Dubai Duty Free Irish Open hosted by the Rory Foundation hasn’t even begun and Rory McIlroy is already making dreams come true. Back in December, Rory McIlroy surprised 9-year-old Charlie Smyth from Cavan, on RTE’s Late Late Toy Show and invited him to the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open. Today, the Rory Foundation gave Charlie another surprise by giving him a golfing lesson on the range at Portstewart Golf Club with golfer Graeme Storm.
“I couldn’t believe it when Rory walked out to surprise me on the Toy Show. I was so happy. He gave me and my family tickets to come to the Irish Open for the week and I can’t wait to see him play. He told me to believe in myself and I’ll always remember it. I had a golf lesson today with Graeme Storm. It was deadly,” said Charlie.
Another Irishman who wasn’t expecting to be mingling with professional golfers and celebrities on Pro Am day is Dromahair man Shane O’Hara. Shane, who lives in Bristol, entered the #RoryTrickShot competition on the Rory Foundation’s social media pages and won first prize, which consisted of a place in the Pro Am and a two-night stay in Blackrock B&B in Portrush.
“I can’t believe my luck. It did take me hours to perfect my trick shot but I’m so glad I persisted to win a place in the Pro Am. Thank you to Rory McIlroy and the Rory Foundation for giving me this amazing opportunity. The reaction online has been great and I’m delighted to be here today with some of the greatest names in golf. Our team came second so it’s been a great day,” said Shane O’Hara.
The Dubai Duty Free Irish Open hosted by the Rory Foundation takes place at Portstewart Golf Club until Sunday, 6th of July and a percentage of ticket sales will go to the Rory Foundation.
Speaking on behalf of the Rory Foundation, Chief Executive Barry Funston said;
“The Pro Am is always a bit of fun before the tournament kicks off. I’m delighted Charlie and Shane are with us today and congratulations to Shane on his wonderful trick shot. We were all very impressed with his efforts and he’s a very worthy winner.”