HAMILTON — Rory McIlroy doesn’t need luck on his side as one of the best golfers in the world, but it sure didn’t hurt to have it this past weekend.
Before he claimed his 16th PGA Tour victory at the RBC Canadian Open Sunday, McIlroy revealed his lucky charm.
A Canadian loonie.
When a patron at the first tee-box yelled to the 30-year-old, “Hey Rory, I got a loonie for you,” he revealed that he already had one of his own.
“I’ve been marking my ball with a loonie all week,” said McIlroy, in his post-win press conference. “I played an RBC day on Tuesday over in Mississauga. One of the guys gave me a Lucky Loonie to mark my ball with this week.
“I said, ‘Sure—why not?’ Every little bit helps, right?’ It might have to cross the border and come with me to the [United] States next week.”
The Northern Ireland native missed the cut at last week’s Memorial Tournament, but shot a combined 15-under in his final two rounds to win by seven shots this weekend.
Heading into next week’s US Open, at Pebble Beach, as only the sixth golfer in history to win the Open, the U.S. Open, and now the Canadian Open, golf’s “triple crown”, McIlroy could not help but credit his newfound approach he discovered throughout the tournament.
“If I’ve learned anything this week, it’s that my game is good enough and [my] swing is good enough that I can play with freedom,” said the four-time major winner.
It was McIlroy’s first time north of the border, and after he attended Game 2 of the NBA Finals, the winner of six national opens commended the atmosphere Canadian fans produced on the basketball court and golf course.
“I’ve been really impressed — went to the game nearly a week ago now and I had never heard noise like that in a basketball arena before,” said McIlroy.
“Then here [at the Canadian Open] this week, everyone is in great spirits —looks like your basketball team is hopefully about to win an NBA championship, that only added to the atmosphere out here on the golf course this week.”
During the closing ceremonies where McIlroy was presented with the Canadian Open trophy, the 12-year professional donned a Raptors Kyle Lowry jersey, much to the joy of the packed 18th green.
Post-round, McIlroy would unveil his new friendship with the Raptors starting point guard and his plans if he did not have golf’s third major to attend.
“I went into the locker room after the game last week and had a chat with him,” said McIlroy. “When he’s got some time off he basically plays 36 holes a day. I was pretty impressed with that.
“If I didn’t have a big tournament next week, I would be sticking around for that Game 5. I’m sure it’ll be awesome.”