Rory McIlroy had a whale of a time on his three-week jaunt in the US - but he never expected to meet the Golden Bear in a car park.
Writing on his website - rorymcilroy.com - Rory explains how he bumped into Jack Nicklaus in a shopping centre car park in West Palm Beach and was actually recognised by the great man himself. He felt it was a good omen for his chances in the Honda Classic but eventually had to settle for a share of 13th place.
McIlroy's website received 50,000 hits during the WGC-Accenture Match Play and is attracting around 5,000 visitors every day.
Here's how he described his meeting with Nicklaus in his tour diary:
We then flew to West Palm Beach and on the Sunday me and Dad didn't have anything to do so we went to the Mall and believe it or not walking to his car in the parking lot was Jack Nicklaus. So Dad says to me "Rory, Rory - there's Jack Nicklaus" so I agreed it was definitely him. He was just about to get in his car and obviously I recognised him and he sort of took a second look at me and recognised me (by the way having him recognise me is seriously cool!) so I went up and said "Mr Nicklaus, how are you doing? It's a pleasure to meet you" and my Dad was so funny and said "Jack, how are you doing?" (like he'd known him for 20 years or something) so I had to put him right and say "Dad, No! This is Mr Nicklaus!". Anyhow we chatted for about 10 minutes as he designed the golf course in Arizona where the Accenture was played and we talked about the layout and stuff which was really interesting. He also invited me to go and play at The Bear's Club in West Palm Beach which I did and it was just fantastic. It was just amazing to meet the best player of all time at the present moment in the parking lot at the Mall so that was a good start to the week and we definitely thought it was a good omen.