Manchester United fans Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell will pull out all the stops to watch tonight’s Champions League final.
But the pair have resisted the temptation to make a lightning trip to Moscow to see the Red Devils take on Chelsea.
All set for tomorrow’s €4.5 million BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth, the Irish pair plan to make an early exit if today’s annual players’ meeting runs late.
McIlroy said: “I think I’ll go to the players’ meeting in my United top and jeans and then go down to watch the match in Sunningdale. Moscow’s just too far away.
“I’ve seen United a few times this year and I genuinely do fancy them tomorrow night, though it’s a Cup final, so it’s going to be edgy.”
McDowell has two season-tickets for Old Trafford after picking up the United habit from his father Kenny.
And after ruling out a jet-set trip to Moscow, he’s ordered his caddie Ken Comboy to find the perfect location to take in the action in peace and quiet.
McDowell joked: “Ken's in blue today but he is a Red as well and he will be on a reconnaissance mission tonight. More important than mapping out the course is finding somewhere to watch the match where we can have nice sound, a bit of food and a bit of crack.”
As for the annual players meeting, schedule by chairman and Liverpool fan Thomas Bjorn for 6pm, McDowell is not too worried about it going on too long.
He said: “By seven o’clock there’ll be a mass exodus. I’ll certainly be one, I imagine.”
Ireland has always has a close connection with Manchester United that McDowell traces back to the days when Belfast’s George Best set the game alight with his skill.
He said: “My dad was a massive fan and we just grew up as Man United fans. It's Georgie Best, isn't it. My older brother is named after George Best.”
McIlroy, 19, remembers being stunned to see the legendary winger Best’s funeral broadcast live on Australian TV, when he played there three years ago.
McIlroy said: “I wasn’t even born when he was playing but seeing his funeral on Australian TV just made me realise how good he was. Some of the goals he scored were just unbelievable.”
As for this week’s Wentworth test, the teen sensation didn’t get to practice with course specialist Ernie Els yesterday but is still is feeling good about his chances after finishing seventh in the Irish Open at Adare last week.
McIlroy said: “Ernie couldn’t play until 2.30 and I didn't want to play that late. But I liked the course, even though it has changed a bit since I last played here.
“I think it similar to Adare last week and I don't think that anyone will go ridiculously low. I've got a good bit of confidence coming in and I'm hitting it nicely.
“I knew my game was there and it was just a matter of doing it.”