Keegan Bradley may wish the village of Lombard, Ill., had sold this particular squad car about three months ago. But the 2005 Crown Victoria that a state trooper used to drive Rory McIlroy to Medinah in time for his Ryder Cup singles match with Bradley in Sunday’s finale will be up for bid on eBay next month.
Lombard deputy chief Pat Rollins used the unmarked car to shuttle McIlroy to the Chicago-area course for his 11:35 tee time after the Northern Irishman got his time zones all bollixed up. Once the two-time major champion realized his start time was an hour earlier than he had calculated, he had to scramble to get to the track and avoid disqualification.
Rollins and his Crown Vic were at his service — much to the eventual chagrin of Bradley, who went on to lose the match, 2 and 1, and the Americans, who bowed to the Europeans by a point.
As soon as Rollins’ replacement ride, a $17,000 Ford Fusion Hybrid, arrives, village officials will send the old auto to the auction block, according to the Daily Herald’s Marie Wilson.
“Since it’s drawing so much attention,” village manager David Hulseberg told Wilson, “we figure we have nothing to lose by putting it out there for any European or anyone who would like to buy the car and do whatever they would like with it.”
September’s magical mystery ride was not the first time a vehicle carrying McIlroy has gained fame. After his 2011 U.S. Open victory, McIlroy flew from Congressional Country Club in Maryland to Boston for a previously scheduled sponsor’s event on Cape Cod.
The bedraggled golfer, who had not slept since his eight-shot Open romp, was set to take a limo back to Boston following the festivities at Willowbend CC in Mashpee. Instead, he found himself in the passenger seat of a Barnstable County police car for a chaperoned drive back to Logan Airport.
“It didn’t make sense that the most famous golfer in America and Ireland would just jump into a car and go to Boston without any security,” lieutenant Barney Murphy of the county sheriff’s office told us at the time.
Murphy, a canine handler with Irish roots and a guest that day at Willowbend, got the okay from his boss and the Massachusetts State Police in nearby Yarmouth to make the drive. He happily ended his day ferrying “the most famous golfer in America and Ireland” from fairway to tarmac.
Emily Kay is a regular contributor to New England Golf Monthly. You may follow Kay on Twitter @golfexaminerWHAT'S YOUR REACTION?