McIlroy plans trip to Haiti

Rory McIlroy’s road to the U.S. Open goes through Haiti.

McIlroy signed on as one of Ireland’s ambassadors to UNICEF in
March, saying he looked forward to working with the charity
organization geared toward helping children and making a field
visit.

McIlroy chose Haiti as his first trip, a tiny country ravaged
last year by an earthquake.

The 22-year-old from Northern Ireland, who opened with a 66 to
share the first-round lead at the Memorial, is going to Haiti on
Monday and Tuesday for what he said ”should be an eye-opening
experience.”

”It’s something I’ve wanted to do since I signed up with UNICEF
at the start of the year,” McIlroy said. ”I’m looking forward to
it.”

The trip figures to be part of a week filled with two extremes.
McIlroy will go from Haiti to Washington for two days of practice
at Congressional for the U.S. Open. Then after a day with a
corporate sponsor in New Jersey, he plans to spend the weekend at
Pine Valley Golf Club before heading over to the next major
championship.

McIlroy said he first became interested in working with UNICEF
through its partnership with Barcelona’s football club, and star
player Lionel Messi being one of the international ambassadors.

”You want to associate yourself with a charity that you feel
close to, and UNICEF works with mainly a children’s charity,”
McIlroy said. ”And I feel like I’m the sort of age that I can
relate to younger people. I just don’t want to put my name on it. I
wanted to do something, and they were very keen for me to go and
see somewhere where they’re hands-on.

”It just fit in quite well that I could go to Haiti for a
couple of days and see what they do.”