herald

Monday 5 December 2016

1D star Horan to caddy for Rory before Masters

Rory McIlroy will be hoping his golfing career will be going in one direction as he recruits Niall Horan as his caddie in today's Masters Par 3 competition.

The Irish world No 1 could be just the sixth winner of a career grand slam if he succeeds at Augusta, Georgia, this weekend.

However, before the competition tees off tomorrow, there is the more light-hearted Par 3 to enjoy first.

Horan, an enthusiastic golfer who plays out of Mullingar, is making his first visit to the Masters.

The Par 3 Contest, which takes place the day before the Masters, is a relaxed game where the friends and families of the world's golfing elite can meet.

"He's been excited to come here. I caught up with him in Australia at the end of last year and I said, 'if you're available Wednesday afternoon and you want to carry the bag for nine holes, you're more than welcome'," said McIlroy.

One Direction star Horan will be replacing McIlroy's former fiancee Caroline Wozniaki who caddied for him at the last Par 3 contests.

unflattering

But his pop fans might sneer at his fashion sense when he has to don the famous unflattering white jumpsuit to fulfil the role as caddy.

Horan has teamed-up with other sports stars in the past.

Last May, he played a game with rugby legend Brian O'Driscoll at the K Club ahead of the One Direction concerts at Croke Park.

Former No 1 Tiger Woods yesterday admitted Augusta National would offer the perfect setting for McIlroy to complete the set of all four Major titles.

"I look back when I did it in 2000, I couldn't ask for a better place to do it," said Tiger, who returns from his 60 days' exile tomorrow. "For Rory, you couldn't ask for the other better place to do it."

"So he has that opportunity and he's going to have that opportunity for decades to come."

McIlroy tees up with Ryan Moore and Phil Mickelson tomorrow.

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