McIlroy: How my dad helped get Guardiola to Manchester City

Golf News

Manchester City can thank Rory's dad - kind of - and will Sergio ever take that jacket off? Alex Perry rounds up the week's quirkier news...

Just how much say did McIlroy’s dad, Gerry, have in Pep Guardiola becoming Manchester City manager?

Well, none. Obviously. But he sure would have had a go.

Manchester loyalties are split in the McIlroy family, with Rory an ardent United fan and Gerry a follower of City.

McIlroy Jr takes up the story: “My relationship with Guardiola started at the Ryder Cup in 2012,” he said after the pair played together in the Irish Open pro-am.

“He was there. That was his sabbatical year from management. He loves his golf. He went to the Masters that year, and to the Ryder Cup, [where] we struck up a bit of a relationship.

“Actually Guardiola and my dad walked all three days together and my dad is a huge City fan.

“At that time he was asking Guardiola, ‘When are you going to come manage City?’ He got his wish four years later. That’s how it started.”

It’s not. But it’s a good story for Gerry to tell the grandkids one day…

Elk hunting

Meanwhile, McIlroy has decided to quit Twitter for a bit after a rather public spat with professional wind-up merchant Steve Elkington.

Australian Elkington, the 1995 PGA Championship winner who now plies his trade on the Champions Tour, accused McIlroy of being “so bored”, and the Northern Irishman bit…

Ahead of this week’s Irish Open, McIlroy said: “I must have wrote that tweet and deleted it about five times before I actually sent it”

We’ve all been there, Rory, so we’ll forgive you this time. (Though not for the use of “wrote” instead of “written”.)

He then added that he gave his phone to his new wife, Erica, and told her to swap his passwords, thus confirming that McIlroy definitely has more than one phone…

Mo money, mo problems

Royal Birkdale

McIlroy believes he has a good chance of ending his three-year spell without a major this year. He says he likes Birkdale, while the PGA Championship is at Quail Hollow, a course on which he has won twice before.

If McIlroy does lift the Claret Jug for the second time, he’s in for some hefty prize money – though from this year onwards it will be paid in US dollars. Cheers, Brexit.

The purse this year will be $10.25 million – just shy of £8m – while the winner will take home $1.85m – around £1.4m.

But it’s always the other end of the scale that gets me when these things are announced. The player finishing dead last will take home $23,600 – about £18,500. So you can scrape the cut then shoot 99-99 at the weekend and still take home the best part of 20 gees.

Imagine completely screwing up your job and still getting paid a bucket load of cash for it. You pictured Donald Trump, didn’t you?

Bones’ mic drop

Jim Mackay

Wondering what Jim Mackay was going to do after 25-years as Phil Mickelson’s caddie?

You’d be forgiven for thinking that, after a quarter of a century traveling the planet to walk round various fields while lugging a bag of metal on his back that the 52-year-old would be up for taking a bit of time off to spend with his family.

Well, he’s still going to be traveling the planet to walk round various fields, only now he’ll be carrying just a microphone.

Yes, the man they call “Bones” is the Golf Channel’s newest on-course reporter.

But who can blame him? The man had both his knees replaced in October – so he probably feels he’s got to get his money’s worth…

Anyone for tennis?

Sergio Garcia was spotted at Wimbledon this week. By “spotted”, I mean he was there and posted lots of photos of himself with the likes of Rafael Nadal, David Beckham, and, err, Mardy Fish.

Having already taken the ceremonial kick-off in April’s clash between Barcelona and his beloved Real Madrid, where will the Masters champion take his Green Jacket next?

And will he ever take it off?

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