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Rory McIlroy Laces Up for Kids Impacted by Cancer at the Irish Open

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When golfer Rory McIlroy tees off at the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open on May 28, he’s certain to turn heads, but not for the reasons one might expect.

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 teamed up with the Cancer Fund for Children in Northern Ireland to raise funds and awareness through the kids’ designs. The four colorways that were selected were created by kids on NIKEiD during a weekend at the organization’s log cabin in Newcastle.

“I’m delighted that the young people associated with the Cancer Fund for Children got to design my shoes,” said McIlroy, whose Foundation was established to give kids support they may need through a variety of children’s charities. “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.” 

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Fifteen-year-old Chloe Hyndman’s design was one of the four chosen for McIlroy to wear at the Irish Open. “It was great fun designing them and a privilege to be a part of the whole process,” said Chloe. “I never thought I would have won — I’m delighted!”

These NIKEiD Lunar Control 3 designs can be purchased on NIKEiD.com. A portion of the proceeds benefit The Rory Foundation.

Round 1 – Designed by Sara Lockhart

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One of the most colorful shoes of the bunch. Sara, 12, said she did her research before beginning her design.

For the opening round, McIlroy will wear Sara’s shoe design with a red toe box, purple lining, an orange midsole topline and volt green lacing — one of the most colorful shoes of the bunch. Sara, 12, said she did her research before beginning her design.

“I read online that Rory really likes different shades of green so I combined that with some of my favorite colors. I really love art and am so happy my design was chosen,” Sara said.

Sara, who also loves swimming and playing the piano, became involved with the Cancer Fund for Children when her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer.

“It was a very worrying time but the Cancer Fund for Children helped a lot,” Sara said. “I am very proud of Rory because he has done so well for himself and still helps young people such as me through his work with the organization."

Round 2 - Designed by Ryan Keenan

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On Friday, McIlroy will wear a gray and green Lunar Control 3 designed by Ryan Keenan.

On Friday, McIlroy will wear a gray and green Lunar Control 3 designed by Ryan Keenan. Ryan selected the words, “Go Rory,” for the tongues of the shoes.

“I chose the colors because it is for the Irish Open and they are colors associated with Ireland,” Ryan said. “It will be amazing and really exciting to see Rory wearing shoes I have designed.”

The Cancer Fund for Children helped Ryan, 16, find solace after he discovered his mom had cancer.

“When my mom became diagnosed and was going though operations, I became very sad and worried,” Ryan said. “Attending time at the log cabin allowed me to just get away from it all for a weekend and be with people in a similar situation who knew what I was going through.”

Round 3 - Designed by Chloe Hyndman

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To start the weekend, the World No. 1 will sport a blue and white colorway created by Chloe.

To start the weekend, the World No. 1 will sport a blue and white colorway created by Chloe.

“My design is a combination of what I would wear and what I thought Rory would like,” Chloe said. “I picked black and white to make them look professional, but then added a print to keep them fun and recent. I also added blue to make them more colorful, and to ensure that all eyes will be on Rory on the course!”

As part of the NIKEiD process, Chloe included “Irish Open” on the tongue of the shoes. Chloe, 15, has been supported by the charity since she was 12 years old.

“I was 11 when my mom was diagnosed with cancer. It was a really difficult time and I really didn’t understand what was going on,” Chloe said. “Spending time away with the Cancer Fund for Children has made me realize I am not alone and that I will be alright in the end.”

Round 4 – Designed by Alex Kernaghan

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On Sunday, McIlroy will wear a multi-colored version of the shoe created by Alex Kernaghan, 13.

On Sunday, McIlroy will wear a multi-colored version of the shoe created by Alex Kernaghan, 13. The design features yellow, green, white and blue for a unique colorway.

“It says ‘Be You’ on my Nike shoes because that’s all you ever should be - yourself. I also added in a bit of blue as it’s my dad’s favorite color and yellow to represent the charity,” Alex said.

The children were presented with their very own pair of Lunar Control 3 shoes complete with their designs, gifts from Nike and The Rory Foundation.

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The Rory Foundation

When Rory McIlroy was growing up, his parents sacrificed everything to allow him to play the sport that he loves. Having that support from his family gave him the opportunity to chase his dreams. Knowing that every child is not so fortunate, the goal of The Rory Foundation is to support children’s charities big and small around the world that try to give kids a helping hand. While The Rory Foundation raises funds for children’s charities across the globe, one of its major beneficiaries is the Cancer Fund for Children located in Northern Ireland, just a few miles from Royal County Down, the site of the 2015 Irish Open.