9 April 2009
Jack Magowan RIP
The death has occurred of Jack Magowan (79), the highly respected golf journalist who spent more than 50 years covering golf for many publications, most notably The Belfast Telegraph where he still had a weekly column.
During his lengthy career, Jack would be found at every type of sports event, from the North of Ireland Amateur Championship to the International arena where he covered sports such as boxing and swimming.
“Jack was a gentleman and his approach to journalism was of the highest order. He will be missed by everyone in The Golfing Union of Ireland. Our thoughts are with his family at this time” said Seamus Smith, General Secretary of The Golfing Union of Ireland.
One of Jack’s main interests was Golf, and in an interview with UTV Sport recently, he had this to say about Ireland’s latest golfing sensation, Rory McIlroy:
"The lad's manners and modesty have impressed everyone who has ever met him," he says. "He's from a very good family. His dad was a scratch golfer and a man who has never run about shouting about his son. His mum, meanwhile, just says she hopes he remains 'a nice boy'. I doubt there is a problem. He's never been an ego-strutting, look-at-me kind of player and I don't think he'll ever try to rise above his station."
Magowan was there when Rory was eight years old and already hitting the ball arrow straight off the tee and almost 200 yards. He was there when the kid appeared on Ulster TV and reprised his washing machine trick. And he was close by a few years ago when a whippet-thin McIlroy ripped it round the fabled links of Royal Portrush in an extraordinary 61 blows, 11 under par.
"He gives the ball a tremendous belt," says Magowan. "He has a syrupy swing, he's very elastic and his method is very, very sound. Whether he will still be able to belt it like he now does in 10 years' time is another thing, but, for now, he is very Seve-like. I used to play with guys like Harry Bradshaw and Fred Daly, but the man he reminds me most of is Christie O'Connor Sr. Rory has the same sort of magical short game as 'Himself'.
"He's certainly the best Irish teenage golfer I've ever seen. Padraig Harrington? Well, Padraig wouldn't have compared to him at the same age. I mean Rory was off plus-4 when he was 16. That's some going. And I have to keep reminding myself how young he still is. I was up at his club, Holywood, talking to him after he won in Dubai this year and I could sense him starting to get edgy. So I asked him what was the matter and he said, 'I am sorry Jack but I have to go to pick my girlfriend up from school.' Now here he is about to play his first Masters."
Unfortunately Jack didn’t get to see Rory in the Masters – his death coming as McIlroy tees it up at Augusta at 7pm Irish time today.
We’re sure Jack will be watching from above.
Source for UTV Sport: http://new.u.tv/Sport/Rory-McIlroy-goes-from-the-washing-machine-to-the-Masters/c53b604d-be70-4be3-8c4c-787968ee479b