A quick ride in a 2005 Ford Crown Victoria for golfer Rory McIlroy may have saved the 2012 Ryder Cup for the European team over the Americans, and now that car is hitting the wholesale market.
Later this month, America’s Auto Auction Chicago is auctioning off the unmarked police car — which is being retired by the Village of Lombard, Ill. — that escorted McIlroy to the course at Medinah Country Club mere minutes before his tee time on the final day of the cup.
On Wednesday, America’s Auto Auction shared the story of this now-famous car and how it got McIlroy and his teammates out of what could have been a major bogey, so to speak.
Apparently, the Northern Ireland native and world’s No. 1 golfer thought his tee time for the cup’s final day was at 12:25.
McIlory received a phone call at his hotel informing him of his 11:25 tee time, meaning he had just 25 minutes to get to the course.
McIlroy would have had to forfeit the first hole if he were late five minutes or less, per tournament rules. Even worse, had he been more than five minutes tardy, he’d have wave the white flag on the entire match.
And that would likely have spelled a Ryder Cup loss for the Europeans, considering the dire straits they were in before the final day of the cup. The U.S. was up 10-6 heading into the final day, meaning if the Americans scored 4.5 points that day, they would win.
A match forefeit by McIlroy would have likely spelled doom for Europe.
Fortunately for McIlroy and the European squad, deputy police chief Pat Rollins was getting ready to leave the same hotel as the famous golfer learned he was late.
The deputy put his scheduled meeting aside, radioed to assure the highway was clear and then rushed the Northern Irishman to the course in the nick of time.
His teammates were already there, having gotten to the course at least an hour early. But all McIlroy had time for was a few practice strokes and an energy bar. He would make it to his first tee three minutes prior to actually teeing off.
And, of course, the rest is history.
He won his match 2-1, as Europe edged the U.S. 14.5 points to 13.5 points to win the Ryder Cup.
So what happens to this cup-saving car?
It will be auctioned during a regular dealer-only sale late this month at the Chicago facility, says general manager Larry Hero. Then it will be up for grabs on eBay to the general public, who will have the opportunity to beat the high bid prior to the sale’s finalization.