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McIlroy appreciates support from Charlotte fans

During his Sunday evening media conference after he won the U.S. Open, Rory McIlroy was asked if it could mean he'll play more in the United States.

"I may have to," McIlroy said with a smile.

He's limited to 10 starts a year because he's not a PGA Tour member, but he's one of the game's biggest stars. For all the understandable talk about the decline in American golf fortunes, McIlroy's glow transcends nationalities. He felt it when he played the Wells Fargo Championship, he said.

"The support I got (at Congressional) was absolutely incredible, for a foreigner to come over and play in front of these U.S. crowds," McIlroy said. "I think every cloud has a silver lining and what happened at Augusta was a great thing for me in terms of support.

"I feel like when I came back to the States to play at Charlotte, the support for me there was fantastic. ... It's nice. To be able to have that when you come over here and feel like you're one of their own is probably going to be pretty important in the next few years."

Asked whether this was the best four days of golf in his 22-year life, McIlroy said it was.

"Looking at it as a complete sort of package, it's probably the best golf that I've ever played," he said. "The weekend at Quail Hollow (66-62) was pretty good, as well, but it was almost as if I did what I did at Quail Hollow for four days instead of two."

One of his representatives said it's too early to know if McIlroy will return to Quail Hollow in 2012 but said it's likely because of how much he likes the event.

FEHERTY UNLEASHED: David Feherty's new Golf Channel show - "Feherty" - debuted this week with an extended Lee Trevino interview as its centerpiece. He has Tom Watson, Johnny Miller and others lined up for future episodes.

In addition to his humor, Feherty has an uncommon insight that can make him a very good interviewer. His goal, Feherty told reporters last week, is to ask the occasional awkward question of his interview subjects to see what kind of answer he gets. He doesn't want to talk about clubs and swing theory but bigger, more personal things.

Feherty said he has asked to interview Tiger Woods on his show but has so far not been successful.

If Feherty were to land a Tiger interview, what would he ask him?

"I'd ask him, if he could change one thing in his life, what would it be?" Feherty said.

"I would ask if he confused fun with happiness, thinking they're the same thing. I'm an addict, and that's what I did. I thought fun and happiness were the same thing. They're not. They're entirely different. That's a common thing among all addicts. They get those two things mixed up.

"What happens when you blend fun and happiness? It turns into unhappiness."


It was a big weekend for Charlotte-area golfers, with Mathew Goggin picking up his second Nationwide Tour victory of the year, former Charlotte 49er Corey Nagy winning his second eGolf tour event and Gastonia's Harold Varner III capturing the North Carolina Amateur.

Throw in a tie for 14th in the U.S. Open by Webb Simpson and a solid finish by Robert Karlsson, and it looks even better.

North Carolina's new men's golf coach is Andrew Sapp, who spent the past nine years as coach at Michigan - where he led the Wolverines to two top-10 NCAA finishes in the past three years. He replaces John Inman, who left in the spring.

Sapp, who worked as an assistant to Devon Brouse at North Carolina in the '90s, has the challenge of making the North Carolina program nationally prominent again. It has fallen behind the top-tier ACC programs.

The Charlotte 49ers, meanwhile, are still considering candidates for their open position. The athletic department is requiring applicants to have Division I coaching experience.