Rory McIlroy runs away with U.S. Open, gives ethics fans a new hero to pull for

Sports fans who try to live an ethical life are often pulled in two directions by their favorites. What Dodger fan could, with a clear conscience, pull for drug-cheat Manny Ramirez to hit one out of the park? And what Redskins fan could root for Albert Haynesworth to sack the opposing quarterback, after the 300-pound tackle stomped on an opposing player’s face with his football cleats.? And what fans of the Vancouver Canucks or L.A. Lakers could go on feeling good rooting for their teams after ugly displays of pure brutality?

Well, all of us do, even though we know we’re rooting for deeply flawed individuals.

But then a new hero comes along with a dazzling smile, so apparently pure and strong of character that we fall in love again. So it is with Rory McIlroy, winner today of golf’s U.S. Open by an unheard of eight strokes with a record low Open score of 268. At 22, McIlroy is the youngest Open winner since the legendary Bobby Jones won in 1923 at age 21.

After earning praise here for an extraordinary display of grace and sportsmanship after his game collapsed in the last round of the Masters—as it had in last year’s British Open—McIlroy exorcised his inner demons and actually extended his lead in the last round. And his first words as he left the 18th green in triumph? “Happy Fathers’ Day” to his father, who was on hand to cheer him on.

And how did McIlroy spend the week before the Open? By visiting Haiti as a UNICEF Ambassador. That apparently helped him prepare for the Open. As he put it, seeing the devastation still evident in Haiti helped him: “The spirit, not just of the kids, but the whole country, was incredible. The whole experience was quite inspiring. It changes how you think.”

I think McIlroy may be the real deal—an ethical super athlete who practices humanity and sportsmanship. If so, golf fans can look forward to a long run of rooting for their hero in good conscience.

Advertisements

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: