Thursday, 11 Aug 2022

Call for Queen to snub Rory McIlroy and other golfers: ‘System wrong’

McIlroy chasing golf's 'Holy Grail' with Open win at St Andrews

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Rory McIlroy finished third in the Open Championship on Sunday as he was beaten to the title by Cameron Smith. The Northern Irish golfer, 33, finished on -18, two behind the Australian’s -20 in a result that shocked St Andrews in Scotland. Smith, whose win marked the first major title of his career, also finished one stroke ahead of Cameron Young. Although McIlroy was unable to capitalise on his lead earlier in the competition, he still triumphed at St Andrews this year.

Before teeing off at The Open, the former champion and three-time winner Tiger Woods were made Honorary Members of The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews.

But for McIlroy, who won the Open in 2014, the new membership status is not the only honour of his golfing career.

Back in 2012, he was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) by Queen Elizabeth II.

The golfer and fellow pro Darren Clarke, who bagged an OBE, were honoured for their services for the sport.

McIlroy spoke of his pride at the prestigious award, although not everyone was impressed by Her Majesty’s decision.

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ESPN called for the British monarch to snub golfers in an opinion piece titled: “Royal recognition for major success a mistake.”

The US broadcaster’s article used the example of Sir Nick Faldo as a worthy royal honour recipient due to his contributions both on and off the golf course.

It read: “Faldo, of course, actually did contribute a genuine service to golf.

“Not so much in the many golf courses he designed, but with the junior series he organised and backed to enable the next generation a better opportunity to enhance their skills and sample competitive action.

“A graduate of that system, McIlroy’s impact on the game and influence within it may eventually enable him to make a similar contribution to the sport during a later phase of his career.

“If he does, then perhaps that should warrant royal recognition.

“That is not to say McIlroy and Clarke are undeserving, but that the system is wrong.”

The piece continued by drawing parallels to other sports where stars have received royal recognition for their achievements.

One example EPSN gave was Sir Chris Hoy, who received his knighthood from the Queen in 2009.

The British cyclist had won three gold medals at the Olympic Games in Beijing the year before.

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However, ESPN claimed that “simply giving honours to those sports stars who reach the pinnacle of their field renders them meaningless”.

It added: “The New Year’s honours list should be for more than just winning.”

Although some may have deemed McIlroy and other golfers unworthy royal honour recipients, the pro was pleased with his award.

He said: “I am delighted to be named in the Queen’s New Year honours list.

“It is quite humbling to be included in such a list of worthy recipients.

“Many people on the honours list have made huge personal sacrifices and contributed significantly to society during their lives. I feel very fortunate to be in their company.”

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