McIlroy ready to honour Palmer at Bay Hill
Rory McIlroy hopes to honour the memory of Arnold Palmer in Florida this week after revealing a touching letter from the late golfing great following his first major win.
The Northern Irishman claimed the first of his four big wins at the 2011 U.S. Open at Congressional Country Club in Maryland, McIlroy winning by eight shots from Jason Day.
It was the end of a four-year wait for McIlroy after turning professional in 2007, the 27-year-old fulfilling his potential in emphatic style.
Seven-time major winner Palmer - who passed away in September - penned a letter to the then 22-year-old to congratulate him, and McIlroy chose to share that with his Twitter followers ahead of the 2017 Arnold Palmer Invitational.
"What a wonderful performance at Congressional! Congratulations!" the letter began.
"I was very impressed with the way you handled yourself throughout the tournament. Your total game - tee to green and the putting - was really solid and it looked like you were enjoying yourself in the process.
"You are now in a position where you have the opportunity to give back to the game that is making you famous and I hope, and certainly feel sure, that you will live up to that obligation in the months and years ahead. Just continue to be yourself. Don't change."
Along with a copy of the letter, McIlroy commented, "great words of wisdom as always", before expressing his excitement to play in the first tournament at Bay Hill since Palmer's death aged 87.