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You already know this scene.

We get back into the clubhouse on a respectable 40 points and we watch as pairs trudge in behind us handing in their scores: 30, 34, 28, 39. That last one was particularly tense. The banter flies. But then just as you’re ready to pop the champagne, the killer blow. Fifty-two! You begrudgingly congratulate them while jokingly-but-not-actually-jokingly call them “bandits”.

The prize giving goes by to a chorus of mock jeers and then the beer flows and the volume cranks on the jukebox. Swarms of drunken middle-aged golfers congregate in the middle of their second home and belt out classic power ballads at the top of their lungs. Ain’t life grand?

Well, it turns out it’s not different for the very best in the world.

• ‘I’m the lead singer in a rock band – but I wanted to be a tour pro’

• Tour boss backs Rory McIlroy to ‘shape’ golf’s future

Rory McIlroy and Shane Lowry were celebrating their victory at the Zurich Classic – a tournament McIlroy only played in because he lost a bet to Lowry, remember – when the they found themselves onstage with the band and, worryingly – for McIlroy at least – a microphone.

The crowd chanted – “Rory! Rory! Rory!” – and then let out a huge cheer as those oh-so familiar opening bars of Journey’s Don’t Stop Believin’ started playing.

McIlroy’s face in this moment says it all. And let’s face it, we’ve all been there. The song has started, you’ve got the mic in your hand, and the blood drains out of your face when you realise you’ve now got to sing – SING! – in front of a room full of people. It seemed like such a good idea a few minutes ago, didn’t it?

Just to make it worse for the four-time major champion, he had a camera in his face and the added knowledge that this footage would be beamed to millions around the globe.

But, like the trooper he is, he committed to his part as Lowry collapsed in tears of laughter behind him.

And, we think it’s fair to say, McIlroy has a decent set of pipes on him. But you can be the judge of that.


Earlier in the day, McIlroy and Lowry had edged Chad Ramey and Martin Trainer in a playoff in New Orleans. The victory moves McIlroy into a group of 12 golfers to have 25 PGA Tour wins and four majors on their CV, including Sam Snead, Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus, Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer, Byron Nelson, Walter Hagen, Phil Mickelson, Tom Watson, Gene Sarazen and Lee Trevino.

Now that’s certainly worth singing about.

Are you subscribed to The bunkered Podcast? We put out new episodes every week – and sometimes we sing!

author headshot

Alex Perry is the Associate Editor of bunkered. A journalist for more than 20 years, he has been a golf industry stalwart for the majority of his career and, in a five-year spell at ESPN, covered every sporting event you can think of. He completed his own Grand Slam at the 2023 Masters, having fallen in love with the sport at his hometown club of Okehampton and on the links of nearby Bude & North Cornwall.

Associate Editor

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