Pros advice

McIlroy: “I named my first dog Ernie”

Rory McIlroy has admitted to naming his first dog after Ernie Els, who helped the Northern Irishman during the early days of his career.

McIlroy and Els have been great pals since the first time they played alongside each other in 2008, while McIlroy’s caddie JP Fitzgerald used to be on the bag for the South African.

"I first played with Ernie at the Singapore Open in 2008 and my caddie JP caddied for Ernie before me so we have always had a decent relationship," he said. "Ernie was the first big, big name I had played with as a pro. I was nervous but I remember teeing off the tenth tee and I hit three wood past his driver and I thought ‘this is alright!’.

"That was the beginning of the relationship and its’ kind of continued from there. Anything I can do to help Ernie I always will. I actually named my first dog after Ernie – I called him Theo [Els' first name]. It’s been a good relationship."



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