For each day of the tournament Rory will be wearing a pair of new Nike trainers that have been specially designed by four Northern Ireland children whose families have been impacted by cancer.
The shoes were created as the result of a competition run by the Cancer Fund for Children at its Daisy Lodge centre, which has been supported with £1m from the Rory Foundation.
The chosen four were selected by Rory himself and were to be worn throughout the tournament, hosted by the Rory Foundation.
Winners Sara Lockhart (12) from Newtownards, Ryan Keenan (16) from Belfast, Chloe Hyndman (15) from Antrim and Alex Kernaghan (13) from Enniskillen were presented by Nike and the Rory Foundation with their own pair of Nike trainers.
One of the winners Alex Kernaghan lost her father Gary to cancer shortly after winning the competition with her individual design, inspired by her father.
“It says ‘Be You’ on my Nike shoes because that’s all you ever should be – yourself. I also added in a bit of blue as it’s my dad’s favourite colour and yellow to represent the charity.” Alex Kernaghan
Mum Tracey Kernaghan added: “Gary was so proud to hear that Alex had won the competition as it came at one of our darkest periods before he died. We were so helped and supported by all at Daisy Lodge.”
Rory McIlroy said:
I’m delighted the young people associated with the Cancer Fund for Children got to design my shoes. It really was such a tough decision to pick the four winning designs. I’m really pleased with the effort and attention to detail everyone put in – I can’t wait to wear the different designs at the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open in Newcastle. It’s going to be very special event for golf and my Foundation.”