Cillian, 6, who suffers from leukaemia, was meeting GMac for the first time and to say he was excited would be an understatement. His brothers Daithí, 7, and Oisín, 4, were similarly excited — although they had a sneaking admiration for Rory McIlroy and Pádraig Harrington.
Dad David admitted the boys had been “wired to the moon” all week and sure enough, GMac didn’t disappoint greeting the lads with high fives and even ordering them to show him their golf swings.
He was suitably impressed, comparing Cillian’s swing to that of former major winner Daly.
David admitted to being as excited as his sons to meet GMac and was glad to be in Fota to help raise awareness and money for the Children’s Medical and & Research Foundation — the fundraising arm of Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital Crumlin and The National Children’s Research Centre.
“So it’s tweets to raise money for Crumlin hospital and Graeme is in competition with all of the other golfers with the same sponsors and the sponsor will then give the money to Crumlin which is great.
“Cillian has leukaemia so that’s how we’ve got involved in it. He was diagnosed just over a year ago, so he’s on the maintenance programme now and is doing well. Good days and bad days.”
The #RBCGolf4Kids campaign is an initiative from the Royal Bank of Canada who are GMac’s sponsor. Along with 11 other golfers, he has been raising awareness of RBC’s Golf for Kids initiative through the use of personalised hashtags on Twitter and Instagram. The golfers whose tag has been used the most over the course of the campaign will receive $125,000 (€92,000) for their chosen charity.
Being an avid tweeter, GMac currently leads the way and seemed almost as determined to get his hashtag trending as he is to win the tournament. He said: “Definitely, getting #RBCMcDowell trending is one of my goals for the week. There is a couple of other golfers involved in the campaign so we all want our charity to win the top prize. I am all out to win this for Crumlin.”