October 24, 2020

A long year for McIlroy

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SHANGHAI (AP) — The smattering of conversations suddenly gave way to the constant shutters of cameras last night at Le Meridien hotel, and there was no mistaking who was causing all the commotion.

U.S. Open champion Rory McIlroy could barely make his way across the room without being stopped. He stood tall as he posed with a Chinese businessman, and stooped over for another picture with a young girl, smiles everywhere. At his side was Caroline Wozniacki, the No. 1 player in women’s tennis and the girlfriend of golf’s newest star.

McIlroy wasn’t bothered by all the attention. As he said earlier Wednesday before a room packed with reporters at the HSBC Champions, it comes with his expanding territory.

Only now, the fuss is for more than just his golf.

It already has been a long year for McIlroy, who now embarks on a sprint to the finish when he tees off Thursday in the final World Golf Championship of the year.

“It’s been an interesting year,” McIlroy said. “A lot has happened. There’s been incredible highs and the one very disappointing low. But I think that disappointing low was needed to experience the incredible high of Congressional. So it’s been a great year. When I get a chance to reflect on it over Christmas and the new year, it’s been a fantastic year and I wouldn’t take it back.”

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