When Rory McIlroy tees off this weekend at the Irish Open at Royal Country Down, he will not be be playing for himself but for the Rory Foundation, which raises funds for children’s charities around the world. He announced that if he wins, he’ll give the $638,000 first prize to the Rory Foundation.
He will also let his feet do the talking. During each round of the Irish Open, McIlroy will lace up a different pair of strikingly unique Nike Lunar Control 3 golf shoes, each designed by a child whose life has been impacted by cancer. McIlroy, the Rory Foundation and Nike worked together with the Cancer Fund for Children, a charity in Northern Ireland that provides support to kids whose lives have been affected by cancer, to raise awareness through these NIKEiD designs.
“I’m delighted that the young people associated with the Cancer Fund for Children got to design my shoes,” said McIlroy. “The shoes are really unique with some crazy designs. The Irish Open is going to be a very special event for golf and my Foundation and I am excited to compete in them this week.” These NIKEiD designs can be purchased on NIKEiD.com and a portion of the proceeds will benefit The Rory Foundation.
CLOCKWISE TOP LEFT: Round One: Designed by Sara Lockhart. “I read online that Rory really likes different shades of green so I combined that with some of my favorite colors,” said Lockhart, 12, whose mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. Rory’s verdict: “I like the message she’s put on the tongue. She wrote ‘good luck’ on them.”
Round Two: Designed by Ryan Keenan. “I chose the colors because it is for the Irish Open and they are colors associated with Ireland,” said Keenan, 16, whose mom was diagnosed with cancer. Rory’s verdict: “He’s put a little message on the tongue saying, ‘Go Rory,’ so they’re pretty cool for Friday.”
Round Three: Designed by Chloe Hyndman. “I picked black and white to make them look professional, but then added a print to keep them fun and recent,” said Hyndman, 15, whose mom was diagnosed with cancer. Rory’s verdict: “I think these are pretty self-explanatory. You’ve got the little pebble/grain design, which is pretty cool, and purple with a little bit of blue in the laces.”
Round Four: Designed by Alex Kernaghan. “It says ‘Be You’ on my Nike shoes because that’s all you ever should be — yourself,” said Kernaghan, 13, whose father recently passed away from cancer. “I also added in a bit of blue as it’s my dad’s favorite color and yellow to represent the charity.” Rory’s verdict: “Alex has designed these shoes which have basically every color in the rainbow… These are a pretty funky pair of shoes and I’m excited to wear them.”