Solidarity between sports mates can lift any players spirits. Just ask Irish golf star Rory McIlroy, who revealed to the Belfast Telegraph this week that Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson helped him deal with the fall out of his last-round collapse at the US Masters tournament.

McIlroy, 21, said Ferguson sent him a text advising him to share his feelings with those closest to him.

'Obviously you are going to be disappointed and hurting,' texted Ferguson, 'but go and speak to the people you trust, family and friends, the people closest to you. Those are the people who will tell you the truth.'

McIlroy said he plans to overcome the disappointments of the Masters by confronting them head-on. Augusta's 10th hole, which led to his back-nine torment, is currently the screensaver on his laptop computer.

McIlroy led the Masters by four shots going into the last round on the Augusta course until he reached the Amen Corner.

He hit a tee shot at the 10th fairway and twice hit a tree to make triple bogey. He three-putted from seven feet for bogey on the 11th and four-putted from 12 feet on the next hole in his painful collapse.