Rory Mcllroy SuccessStory
Currently holding the 13th slot in the world rankings, Rory McIlroy is one of the best golfers on the planet. He has won four majors including two PGA championships, all accomplished before the age of 32. He is also one of the highest-paid golfers in the world having a net worth of $120 million.
Childhood and Education
Rory McIlroy was born in Holywood in the county of County Down, Northern Ireland on May 4, 1989. He spent most of his childhood in Holywood and is the only child of Rosie McDonald and Gerry McIlroy. He attended St. Patrick’s Primary School and later transferred to Sullivan Upper School.
Even at a young age, McIlroy shared a great interest in golf. Gerry gave his son a golf club as a present and began training him before the age of 10. Also an amateur golfer and previously playing at a scratch handicap level, Gerry would work in several jobs to help support his son’s golf development.
Young Rory became the youngest member of the Holywood Golf Club at the age of seven. He then started competing in numerous events, eventually winning the World Championship (9-10 age bracket) held in Miami, Florida.
Since his win at the World Championship, McIlroy was slowly becoming one of Europe’s best young players. By the age of 16, he won the 2004 Junior Ryder Cup as a member of Team Europe and became the youngest-ever winner of both the West of Ireland Championship and the Irish Close Championship in 2005. He was also named to Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland teams at the 2005 European Amateur Team Championship.
In 2007, McIlroy topped the World Amateur Golf Ranking and also competed at his first championship tournament at the Open Championship in Carnoustie, Scotland. Before the end of the year, McIlroy turned professional and competed immediately at the Quinn Direct British Masters and Alfred Dunhill Links Championship tournaments. His participation earned him the distinction of being the youngest affiliate member in the history of the European Tour.
In succeeding years, McIlroy continued his rise to the top and competed in his major championship as a professional in the 2009 Masters tournament. He then made his debut at the U.S. Open a few months later. By the end of the year, he entered in the top 10 of the world rankings for the first time and was ranked 9th.
In 2010, McIlroy recorded his first PGA Tour win and became the first player since Tiger Woods to win a PGA Tour event before turning 21 years old.
First Major Win
After collapsing in the final round of the 2011 Masters, McIlroy secured his first major championship two months later at the U.S. Open in Bethesda, Maryland. He dominated throughout the tournament, breaking several records and winning with a comfortable 8-stroke margin against runner-up Jason Day. His 72-hole aggregate score of 278 broke the record previously set by hall of famer Jack Nicklaus and also became the youngest winner U.S. Open winner since Bobby Jones in 1923.
After competing in four more tournaments in 2011, including a win in the Lake Malaren Shanghai Masters, McIlroy finished the year as number two in the world rankings.
PGA Champion and Succeeding Wins
After his dominance in the 2011 U.S. Open, McIlroy continued his great form heading into 2012. He finished 3rd in the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship behind Robert Rock and Tiger Woods, and 2nd in the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship just behind Hunter Mahan. After his win at the Honda Classic in Florida, he became the world’s number one ranked professional golfer and the second youngest number one at the age of 22.
In August 2012, McIlroy competed in the PGA Championship in California in his quest for a first PGA title. Much like his U.S. Open win a year prior, he would win by eight strokes, also securing a win with a birdie on the final hole. The victory again placed McIlroy in the history books, breaking the seven-stroke victory set by Nicklaus in the 1980 PGA Championship and becoming the youngest player since Seve Ballesteros to win multiple golf championships (22 years old).
McIlroy would win his second PGA title in two years, edging Phil Mickelson in the 2014 PGA Championship in Louisville, Kentucky. A week prior, he won the Open Championship over Rickie Fowler and Sergio Garcia, becoming the third European to win three different majors. Nicklaus acknowledged the two-time PGA winner that he is “an unbelievable talent and has an opportunity to win 15 or more majors.”
The succeeding years would see McIlroy winning multiple tournaments as well as securing top-five finishes. Specifically, he won the 2016 and 2019 Tour Championship (FedEx Cup) and 2018 Arnold Palmer Invitational as well as finishing in the top 5 in the 2018 Masters and WGC-Mexico Championship, among others. He is currently the second highest-paid golfer (behind Jordan Spieth) and has a net worth of $120 million. He scored his biggest payday ($15 million) after winning the 2019 FedEx Cup.
In 2020, McIlroy regained the world number one ranking, overtaking two-time PGA Tour Championship winner Brooks Koepka. He also won the Wells Fargo Championship in Charlotte, North Carolina a year later with the win (also his third in the said tournament) adding to his PGA Tour victory total to 19.
2020 Tokyo Olympics
McIlroy participated in his first Olympics in Tokyo and nearly walked away with a medal. He tied for third place together with seven other golfers but failed to secure a bronze medal during the seven-man medal play-off. Despite missing out, McIlroy was grateful for the experience and is already planning to compete in the 2024 Olympics in Paris.
The Tokyo Olympics was originally scheduled for July and August 2020 but the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic forced organizers to push the Summer Games 12 months later.
McIlroy is married to Erica Stoll since 2017. Their daughter Poppy is currently a year old. The couple met while Stoll was working at the PGA of America in 2015. McIlroy is also a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) and is an ambassador for UNICEF Ireland.
McIlroy plays football during his spare time and is a fan of the British football club Manchester United. He injured his ligaments while playing football which forced him to miss the 2015 Open Championship.
With four majors and 19 PGA wins under his belt, Rory McIlroy is one of the most accomplished golfers of this generation. But the 32-year old isn’t finished yet and has already set his sights on winning more tournaments in the foreseeable future.