Four-time major champion Rory McIlroy was delighted to finally claim a win in 2016 - but it was particularly special coming on his home soil.
Rory McIlroy was delighted to finally claim a win in 2016 - but it was particularly special coming on his home soil.
The Northern Irishman claimed his 13th win on the European Tour at The K Club as he carded a closing 69 to win his first Irish Open on Sunday.
McIlroy had missed the cut at this event at his last three attempts, but made no mistake as he entered the final round three shots clear, winning the tournament by the same margin.
"I was trying to stay as relaxed as possible," he said.
"Even when Russell [Knox] birded 14 and 15, which are two of the toughest holes on the course, I knew that my length would be an advantage over the last three holes.
"I told myself, 'I'm still in this, I still have chances'. I didn't quite think I'd end up with my three (on the 18th) but I thought I still had a chance so I stayed as patient as I possibly could. But when there's 30,000 people roaring you on, that's quite hard. It was absolutely incredible.
"Just looking up there and seeing all my friends and family and the support that I've had this week. To win in front of them, I don't get a chance to play in front my home fans very often so to play like that and to finish like that today, I'll never forget it.
"I don't know if I can put it into words. I don't really get emotional when I win but I was trying to hold back the tears there on the 18th green.
"I'm excited. I kept saying I'm close and I felt that I needed a week like this to kick-start something and no better place than back here in Ireland to do it.
"Hopefully this is the catapult into another great summer."
McIlroy said he will donate his winning cheque of €666,660 to the Rory Foundation.