Team McIlroy ready for AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am debut

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Team McIlroy ready for AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am debut

PGA Tour

Team McIlroy ready for AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am debut

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. – Rory McIlroy remembers when he was 6 years old, playing rounds of golf with his father, Gerry, at Holywood Golf Club back home in Northern Ireland. He also remembers those early days, when a young McIlroy would only get about halfway through the round and Gerry, as Rory recalled, “would end up playing the last sort of six or seven holes by himself and carrying my golf bag, as well.”

The McIlroys will share more memories on the golf course this week – only neither of them will have to carry a golf bag.

The father-son duo will be one of 156 pro-amateur teams teeing it up in the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. It’s Gerry’s 60th birthday present, of sorts, just a year early (Gerry is 59).

“It’s a tournament that I’ve always watched and I’ve always thought one day it would be really cool to play with my dad,” McIlroy said, “and fortunately we were able to get him in and play.”

This will be McIlroy’s first time playing the annual Pebble Beach event, though it won’t be the first time he has teamed with his dad. The two have made several appearances at the European Tour’s annual pro-am tournament, the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.

But this one is a little different. The Dunhill comes at the end of the year, right after the FedEx Cup Playoffs (and every other year, the Ryder Cup) and right before the European Tour’s postseason. On the other hand, Pebble Beach will be McIlroy’s first PGA Tour start of season and the World No. 8 is coming off a nice Middle East swing, where he posted two top-3 finishes.

“I’m feeling a lot different in myself because I feel like it’s the start of something and not the end of something,” McIlroy said. “I was just sort of ready to call it quits for the year after the Dunhill. With how sort of dejected and wanting to get away from it I was then, to how rejuvenated and optimistic I am now, it feels a lot different that way.”

As for Gerry, he’s been prepping for this week for a while. He has spent the last couple of months grinding away back at Seminole Golf Club in Juno Beach, Fla., and Rory said there’s no question his dad has played more golf than he has in the last year.

Already this week the McIlroys have played three practice rounds.

“Just hope he hasn’t tired himself out,” Rory said. “He’s got a lot of golf left over the next few days.”

Asked where his dad’s game is at, McIlroy thought a moment, then said: “Well, he’s chipped in four times in three days.”

Like father, like son.

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