RORY McILROY is preparing for the Ryder Cup in happy-go-lucky style – embracing your inner Happy Gilmore.
McIlroy is a big fan of the slapstick golf film, which is currently celebrating the 25th anniversary of its release.
And after sending congratulatory messages to the hit film’s star and co-writer Adam Sandler, the pair have agreed to meet on the golf course and compare their run and hit techniques.
In the film, Sandler plays a hockey player who turns to golf while serving a ban, and finds that he can break the ball 400 yards away in his own unique way.
Using the ‘Calamity Jane’ putter, Sandler survives a series of misadventures to win the Tour Championship and claim the coveted Gold Jacket.
McIlroy was only seven when Happy Gilmore was released, but he says he’s seen it countless times over the years, and was determined to mark its special anniversary.
The 2016 and 2019 Tour Championship winner used his Twitter account to pay tribute to his ‘fellow champion’.
He added: “Hey Adam, it’s Rory here, fellow Tour Championship winner. I just want to say you can’t be here this week. We all wish you were.
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“To celebrate your victory at the Tour Championship I’ve got a gold jacket and a replica Calamity Jen Putter.
“I just want to say thank you for all the laughs you’ve given us over the years. Happy Gilmore is one of my favorite movies.
“You’re awesome. I’d love to meet you one day. Hopefully, we’ll catch up soon.”
The camera then zooms in on Happy Gilmore’s honorary clubhouse locker at East Lake’s Tour Championship venue in Atlanta.
Sandler clearly appreciated the gesture. He immediately replied with a Twitter message of his own, “Love you Rory. Thanks for the kind words. Looking forward to playing with you all soon.”
This was not McIlroy’s first public display of affection for the legendary golf hero.
When his club’s sponsor TaylorMade brought together six of their biggest stars to try their hand at beating up drivers after a major run-up, the four-time Majors champion took it far more seriously than the rest. .
They all donned hockey-style tops to pay homage to Sandler’s character, but only Rory rolled up his sleeves and, in Happy Gilmore style, swapped out a back-to-front baseball cap.
He even gave a saying to his fellow golfers, including Tiger Woods and Dustin Johnson: “Happy do it!”.
But his devotion to the cause did not pay off. While most of his opponents were hitting slices and duck hooks, McIlroy got a ‘better’ one by hitting the ball into the measuring device from the side of the tee.
The best shot came from Tiger, who blasted the ball straight into the middle of the driving range from 254 yards.
“Is anyone surprised?” asked McIlroy.
McIlroy also made a good impression on Happy Gilmore on his final Ryder Cup appearance in America.
He certainly matched the fictional hero’s over-the-top celebrations during his epic solo clash with Patrick Reed—especially when he hid a monster putt to halve eight holes.
But McIlroy ended up losing that match as Europe was beaten 17-11 at Hazeltine, and he said it taught him a valuable lesson about the need to channel his energy more efficiently.
he explained; “I think I’ve been in the most animated Ryder Cup in my career. It just brings up some of you that you don’t get a chance to play in person.
“When you’re playing as part of a team there’s something else going on there, and everything you do affects not only yourself but the other eleven players, the captain, the vice-captains, all the support team. affects.
“There are a lot of emotions that come out, but you still have to try to control it.
“So I’ll definitely try not to be as animated this week, and try to save some energy. It’s a long week.
“Whether I play all five matches again, we’ll see. But it’s a lot of golf. It’s just a lot of energy to play, then trying to beat who you’re playing against. If you beat the crowd. If you try, it seems like an impossible task.
“I’ll do my best for this team and I’ll try to play the best golf I possibly can, but I’ve learned a lot from 2016 about energy conservation.
“I felt like I hit a wall on the last nine against Patrick that day, and I want to make sure that doesn’t happen again.”
Happy Gilmore may not have approved of a player trying to keep a lid on things – but European captain Padraig Harrington certainly will.