McIlroy starts foundation to help children worldwide have better lives

Rory McIlroy
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To jumpstart his new foundation, Rory McIlroy will place the name of a different childrens' charity on his golf bag in each tournament he plays.
Associated Press

Series: PGA Tour

Published: Thursday, January 10, 2013 | 7:37 p.m.

HOLYWOOD, Ireland -- Rory McIlroy wants to help children around the world through a foundation and on his golf bag.

McIlroy on Thursday announced he has started the Rory Foundation. Among the first projects is to bring attention to children by putting the name of charities on his bag when possible. The world's No. 1 player starts his season next week in Abu Dhabi.

The 23-year-old from Northern Ireland is geared toward work like this. Two years ago, he went to earthquake-ravaged Haiti the week before the U.S. Open to try to raise the spirits of children. He then won his first major at Congressional, setting a U.S. Open record at 16-under 268.

''When I was younger, my parents sacrificed everything to allow me to play the game I love,'' McIlroy said. ''Having that support from my family gave me the opportunity to chase my dreams. But I know that every child is not so fortunate. My aim is that the Rory Foundation will support children's charities big and small, around the world, that try to give kids that helping hand.''

He starts with ''The 6 Bags Project,'' in which he will display the name of a children's charity in each of the first six tournaments he plays. During the tournament, the bag will be auctioned through //, with the money going to that charity.

The Northern Ireland Cancer Fund for Children will be on the bag at Abu Dhabi.

''This association with Rory will not only have a significant impact on children and young people who look up to Rory and are inspired by him, but will also help to maintain Rory's very important links to Northern Ireland and he moves increasingly into a global circuit,'' said Gillian Cleery, the CEO of the charity.

McIlroy said he would have Boys & Girls Club of Tucson for the WGC-Match Play Championship in Arizona; Child Protection Team of Palm Beaches for the Honda Classic, First Tee Miami-Dade Amateur Golf Association for the WGC-Cadillac Championship and Chinquapin School for the Shell Houston Open.

Still be to decide is a children's charity near Augusta, Ga., for the Masters.

In the case of the Houston Open, McIlroy contacted Tournament Director Steve Timms, who provided him a list of options from which McIlroy chose a charity. The Chinquapin School is for students who excel from financially disadvantaged backgrounds. The students serve as standard-bearers at the tournament.

''It's going to be awesome,'' Timms said. ''I thought it was one of the most novel things I've ever encountered. ... Notwithstanding the money he raises, because we don't know how much that will be, it creates such an awareness with the No. 1 player in the world at this time showcasing the (charity).''

More innovative fundraisers are in the works.

''I had a childhood -- a great childhood -- and if the Rory Foundation can help one child achieve a better quality of life, then job done,'' McIlroy said.




Have you considered the Sandy Hook Foundation for the Masters? The whole "World" knows what happened in Newtown. Couldn't think of a better tournament that draws worldwide attention. I personally am writing a Mental Health Illness Auto Biography as a successful husband, father of 2 kids (1 who is a tremendous golfer at 14), successful businessman (retired at 40) yet I have Bi-Polar. The book will teach people how to deal with it, and how to look for signs of it. Perhaps if we listen, learn and act - we can prevent another Sandy Hook. 100% of the book proceeds will go towards the Sandy Hook Foundation.

Rory - there isn't a better spokesman than you! In many people's eyes - you're still a kid, and kids look up to you. You can bring "hope" and "healing".

I know God doesn't pick favorites to win golf tournaments, but I'm sure there will be 26 angels flying around Augusta watching over you!