Reporting Jay Levine
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LOMBARD, Ill. (CBS) –- Whether he likes it or not, a veteran suburban police official is the unsung hero behind Europe’s stunning Ryder Cup victory over the weekend.
Lombard Deputy Police Chief Pat Rollins got the world’s best golfer to the Medinah Country Club on time – but just barely.
CBS 2 Chief Correspondent Jay Levine has the story.
Rollins was working player security at the athletes’ hotel. When Ryder Cup officials realized European Team member Rory McIroy wasn’t at Medinah on Sunday, they sent someone to his room.
“She just went up and said, ‘Rory, are you OK?’ and he answered the door and said, ‘Yes, what’s the matter?’” and (she) said, ‘You’re on the tee,’” Don Larson of Medinah Country Club said.
He was supposed to tee off in less than half an hour.
“I’ve never been so worried going to the golf course. Luckily, there was a state trooper,” McIlroy said after Europe upset the U.S. Team.
That “state trooper” was actually Lombard’s Rollins. He was ready to roll — literally.
“I just wanted to make sure if I was maneuvering around, I just wanted to make sure he was gonna be OK with it,” Rollins said. “I asked him, ‘Do you get motion sickness?’”
“I said no, no, no, I don’t care if I’m sick, just get me to that first tee,” McIlroy said.
So off they went, down Butterfield Road, onto Interstate 355. Then it was onto Medinah Road, and up the special players’ driveway to the clubhouse. McIlroy sprinted into the clubhouse with barely 11 minutes to spare.
“He went right in the locker room, didn’t say anything, didn’t even tie his shoes ‘til he got the first tee,” Larson says.
But Larson said there was plenty to say after Europe’s victory by a single point — the point Rory won in the match he almost didn’t make, starting with the presentation of a supersized alarm clock.
But McIlroy was on time thanks to the officer who was taking a pretty good ribbing Monday.
“I’ve had plenty of people express that to me, if I would have gotten a flat tire, if i would have taken him to a different golf course,” the deputy police chief says.
Not a chance, Rollins said about his role in the “Miracle at Medinah.”
“It’ll be something I’ll remember all my life,” he says.