One year on from a whirlwind few days that ended with Rory McIlroy seeking his autograph, one promising young golfer is continuing to hit new highs as he prepares for the upcoming Irish Open.
Twelve months ago, Sean Reddy hit headlines when he was talent-spotted practising his impressive swing in Nike’s London store, and ended up joining forces with Rory McIlroy in the brand’s campaign to show the ripple effect of influence sporting heroes have on children.
Now, two years after first catching the golfing bug after seeing his hero in action, Sean is to go back to the contest where his love for the sport began — this time as a VIP.
Sean, who first took up golf having seen Rory McIlroy take part in the Irish Open, will return to the tournament — but not before bringing a taste of the competition to his school first.
In recognition of his recent golfing successes, Irish Open officials visited the nine-year-old’s school in Glanmire, Co Cork, and brought Irish golf’s top trophy along for the trip.
Former Ryder Cup golfer Des Smyth visited Gaelscoil Uí Drisceoil to bring the Open trophy to the pupils, some of whom will mingle with the top golfers as guests at next week’s Irish Open Pro Am.
Meanwhile Sean’s own star continues to rise. Last year he finished second in the U8 Irish Open and this year he impressed officials from the European Tour when he held his own in an U15 skills tournament.
His father Simon says the prodigy is taking it all in his stride. “He’s flying, he’s improving all the time,” said Simon.
“He sank all his putts in the U15 contest, the only one to do so, and was up against kids who were 13 to 15 years old. The European Tour picked up on it and picked his school to come promote the Irish Open.
“He’s as cool as a breeze, the pros who have seen him have praised his swing and said he has a great temperament.
“He loves it. He goes out for hours and hours practising.”
The Ballyvolane boy, the youngest member of Fota Golf Club, will also spend an evening in the company of another sporting great on the eve of the Irish Open.
A charity event in aid of McIlroy’s Rory Foundation will see the golfer joined in conversation with legendary football manager Alex Ferguson in an evening hosted by actor James Nesbitt.
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