Rory McIlroy admitted he has never liked Roy Keane after the former Manchester United captain snubbed his autograph request as a kid.
After the weekend's British Masters, a video went viral on social media of McIlroy giving a golf ball to a young fan, and when quizzed about it ahead of this week's Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, McIlroy expressed his surprise at the attention it was getting, stating it was "a regular occurrence on Tour".
The fan's delight was in stark contrast to the experience of the four-time Major winner.
"It just shows what such a small thing can mean to a kid," McIlroy said. "I had it go the other way for me, where I asked someone for an autograph as a kid and they didn't give it to me. And I've never liked them since.
"It was Roy Keane. He should be one of my heroes because I was, and still am, a huge Man United fan. But I remember I went and asked him for his autograph at the Portmarnock Links Hotel when he was with the Ireland squad and he just said 'no'.
"And it just sort of stuck with me ever since. So, that's why if a kid asks me for an autograph, I always try to do it."
Asked whether McIlroy could give Keane his autograph, the 2011 US Open winner responded: "Only if he gives me his."