New dad Rory McIlory hopes for Baby Boom at the FedEx Cup after giving birth to daughter Poppy Kennedy this week
- Rory McIlory became father to daughter Poppy Kennedy on Monday afternoon
- The golfer left his wife, Emma, and daughter to catch a flight to the FedEx Cup
- The Northern Irishman said it was difficult to travel to Atlanta on Thursday
- McIlroy enters his FedEx Cup defense without a top 10 finish in his last eight
Proud new dad Rory McIlroy said it had already been the best week of his life. “Now let’s see if we can sprinkle some icing on the cake,” he added.
The Northern Irishman’s wife Erica gave birth to their daughter Poppy Kennedy on Monday and McIlroy admitted it had been difficult to get them to fly to Atlanta on Thursday for his defense of the FedEx Cup, starting today, and the gigantic $ 15 million (£ 11.3 million) bonus.
It is indeed a good thing that McIlroy has his own plane these days, as he confessed: “I should have been flying at 8 in the morning, but I ended up leaving the house then. It was really hard to leave, but life doesn’t stop at the end of the day.
Rory McIlroy (above) became a new father just before flying to Atlanta for the FedEx Cup
McIlroy shared the news of his new daughter, Poppy Kennedy, who was born on Monday
“I know Erica is surrounded by her family and my mom and dad are around the corner, so she has all the help she needs.”
The life-changing event has put McIlroy in a reflective mood. “If I can’t be satisfied now, I don’t think I ever will be,” he said.
‘Everything that happened to me on and off the golf course has already surpassed my wildest dreams. I’m just so grateful, I have to pinch myself and ask why me, why am I so lucky? ‘
The Irishman is now returning to the course without a top ten finish in his last eight events
He will definitely need some Irish luck if he wants to round out his first week as a dad with another win at East Lake, one of his favorite touring locations.
The FedEx Final, the Tour Championship, uses a handicap system to represent the first two playoff events. Dustin Johnson, who won one and finished second in the other, starts at 10 under par with a two-shot lead over Spaniard Jon Rahm, who beat the American in a play-off on Sunday.
Without a top-10 finish in his last eight events, McIlroy will start seven behind, given a huge margin, but by no means insurmountable. In 2017, Justin Rose made up six shots behind Johnson in one round to win the HSBC Champions in China. Last year, McIlroy started five shots behind Justin Thomas, but still won.
McIlroy (left) hopes his good family news can bring him luck on the track
“I know my form hasn’t been good after the lockdown, but now that everything is fine at home, things might just fall into place now,” Rory said.
England’s Andy Sullivan lamented the brutal conditions in Valderrama as only five players broke on the opening day of the Andalucia Masters.
Sullivan, four shots off the lead after a two-over 73, said: “It’s hard to hit fairways and greens here in the flat rest, so when there’s a 20 mph gust of wind it’s just havoc here.”