Free lessons from Rory
The world's # 1 golfer took an enjoyable Tuesday stroll down the 18th hole. The most enjoyable part for him? He was walking alongside the world's # 3 ranked golfer.
"It was probably one of the best days ever," said a gleaming Tom McKibbin.
McKibbin is the number one ranked golfer in the world in the under 12s division. He won the U.S. Kids Golf World Championship at Pinehurst back in August - and eight months later joined Austinite Sean-Karl Dobson on the walk of a lifetime.
"It was amazing, no words can explain it," beamed the 12-year old. "It goes up as one of the best days of our life."
Tom and Sean-Karl's friendship began a few years ago - where else? - on a putting green at 5 AM. Since then they've formed a great bond despite living 4,580 miles apart. Tom is from Northern Ireland - as is Rory McIlroy. When Rory spotted Tom and Sean-Karl, he invited them under the ropes.
"I don't think I could've picked a nicer two guys to go out with - they are the nicest," said Dobson.
McKibbin admired McIlroy's preparation and ball-striking.
"He's just such a nice guy."
While the duo focused on Rory, Rory himself is focusing on winning this week and eventually reclaiming his world # 1 ranking. Jason Day jumped McIlroy to # 2 last week, and should Day finish in better position than Jordan Spieth this week, he'll take back that # 1 spot.
"The good thing about it is I'm not playing against him 'til the last match," explained Day. "That'd be great to go to Augusta with that # 1 tag."
"The # 1 gets protected if I do what we set out to do," said Spieth, the current # 1 golfer. The # 1 ranking is a label you like to have because it means you play good golf."
The main job for Tom and Sean-Karl this week? Just enjoy each other's company. Because who knows? Before long the duo might engage in a major battle of their own with the stakes much higher.