Rory Mcllroy (1 Open, 1 US Open, 2 USPGA's, 4 Ryder Cup's.)
Rory McIlroy, MBE (born 4 May 1989) is a Northern Irish professional golfer who is a member of both the European and PGA Tours. He was world number one in the Official World Golf Ranking for 95 weeks. He is a four-time major champion, winning the 2011 U.S Open with a tournament record: Lowest score under par (−16), 2012 PGA Championship with a tournament record: Largest victory margin (8 strokes), 2014 Open Championship, and 2014 PGA Championship. Along with Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods he is one of three players to win three majors by the age of 25.
He had a successful amateur career, topping the World Amateur Golf Ranking for one week as a 17-year-old in 2007. Later that year he turned professional and soon established himself on the European Tour. He had his first win on the European Tour in 2009, and on the PGA Tour in 2010. In 2011 at the age of 22, he became the youngest player ever to reach €10 million in career earnings on the European Tour. In 2012, he became the youngest player to reach $10 million in career earnings on the PGA Tour.
McIlroy has represented Europe, Great Britain & Ireland, and Ireland as both an amateur and a professional. At the Ryder Cup, he played for Europe against the United States in 2010, 2012, 2014, and 2016, with Europe winning the first three matches. For his individual and team achievements he has twice been named RTÉ Sports Person of the Year, in 2011 and 2014. He is the current face of EA Sports' PGA Tour series of games.
He was introduced to golf at an exceptionally young age by his father, who coached him. Gerry McIlroy is a fine golfer himself, who once played at a scratch handicap level. He asked his father virtually every day to take him to Holywood Golf course. Family lore relates that he received a new golf club as a present, being shown the correct grip by his father, then taking the club to bed with him that night, with his hands holding the club properly. McIlroy joined Holywood Golf Club and became the youngest member at the club. A video on golf technique produced by champion Nick Faldo was his early favourite.
McIlroy's father held down several jobs to earn additional income for his son's golf development. His mother worked extra shifts at the local 3M plant.McIlroy's first significant international victory came in the World Championship for the 9–10 age group bracket at the Doral Golf Resort & Spa in Miami, Florida. He learned his early golf at the Holywood Golf Club, which he still retains as his home course. He became the youngest club member at age seven. He started his early training with Michael Bannon, previously the Golf Professional of Holywood Golf Club, who is also his current coach and dedicated mentor.
At the age of 15, McIlroy was a member of Europe's winning 2004 Junior Ryder Cup team; the event was held in Ohio. In 2005, McIlroy became the youngest-ever winner of both the West of Ireland Championship and the Irish Close Championship. He retained the West of Ireland Championship in 2006 and followed that up with back-to-back wins at the Irish Close Championship. In August 2006, he won the European Amateur at Biella Golf Club, near Milan, Italy, with the score of 274.
In late 2004, at age 15, he signed a letter of intent to play collegiate golf at East Tennessee State University, but after his wins in 2005, he decided to forgo the golf scholarship and continue to play amateur golf in Europe. McIlroy shot a bogey-free opening round of 3-under-par 68 at the 2007 Open Championship at Carnoustie, his first major championship entry. He shot +5 overall and was the highest finishing amateur, winning the silver medal.
In July 2005, at age 16, McIlroy shot a new competitive course record score of 61 on the Dunluce links of Royal Portrush Golf Club. In October 2006, McIlroy represented Ireland in the Eisenhower Trophy, which is the Amateur World Team Championship. On 6 February 2007, he became the second man to top the World Amateur Golf Ranking, though he lost the top spot after just one week.
McIlroy was part of the Great Britain & Ireland team at the 2007 Walker Cup, held at the Royal County Down Golf Club. On the first day of the event he was paired with Jonathan Caldwell for morning foursomes, and the match was halved. In the afternoon he faced Billy Horschel in singles, but Horschel won 1 up. On the second day McIlroy and Caldwell lost in morning foursomes by the score of 2 & 1. In the afternoon he faced Horschel in singles again, and this time he won by the score of 1 up. McIlroy's overall record was (1–2–1) in Win-Loss-Tie format. The United States came out victorious by a score of 12½ to 11½.
McIlroy made his first appearance in a European Tour event a few days after turning 16, when he took part in the 2005 British Masters. He made the cut on the European Tour for the first time as a 17-year-old at the 2007 Dubai Desert Classic, where he had to forego prize money of over €7,600 due to his amateur status. At the 2007 Open Championship, held at Carnoustie, McIlroy was awarded The Silver Medal as the leading amateur.
McIlroy turned professional on 18 September 2007, the day before the Quinn Direct British Masters. He signed with International Sports Management. At the Quinn Direct British Masters, McIlroy shot 290 (+2), which put him in a tie for 42nd place. He finished in 3rd place at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in October. The next week, he secured his card for 2008 by finishing in a tie for 4th place at the Open de Madrid Valle Romano. He became the youngest Affiliate Member in the history of The European Tour to earn a tour card. On the 2007 European Tour season, he earned €277,255 and finished in 95th place on the Order of Merit list. He was the highest ranked associate member.
Before his season started, Tiger Woods invited McIlroy to play in the 2007 Target World Challenge, held in December, and the 2008 AT&T National, held in July. McIlroy declined the invitation, preferring to play the European Open the week of the AT&T National.
McIlroy started his 2008 European Tour season at the UBS Hong Kong Open. He did not make the one-under cut. He entered the top 200 of the Official World Golf Ranking for the first time on 27 January 2008. On 7 September 2008, McIlroy took a four-stroke lead into the final round of the Omega European Masters in Crans-sur-Sierre, Switzerland, but finished in a tie for first place with Frenchman Jean-François Lucquin and lost in a play-off.
McIlroy finished the European Tour season in November 2008 with six top-10 placements and ranked 79th in the World Golf Ranking.
After finishing second in the UBS Hong Kong Open in November 2008, McIlroy attained his highest world ranking position of 50. He finished the 2008 calendar year at 39th in the world rankings after finishing joint 3rd in the South African Open. This earned him an invitation to the 2009 Masters Tournament. His first professional win came at age 19 when he won the Dubai Desert Classic on 1 February 2009, this win took him to 16th in the world rankings.
In the 2009 WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship, McIlroy reached the quarterfinals. In the first round he defeated Louis Oosthuizen 2 & 1, in the second round he beat Hunter Mahan 1-up, and in the third round he beat Tim Clark, 4 & 3. He lost to Geoff Ogilvy, who won the tournament, in the quarterfinals 2 & 1. McIlroy continued to play on the PGA Tour until May. He finished tied for 13th at the Honda Classic, tied for 20th at the WGC-CA Championship and tied for 19th at the Shell Houston Open.
In April 2009, McIlroy made his first Masters Tournament appearance, his first major championship as a professional. He finished the tournament tied for 20th place, two strokes under par for the tournament. Of the players to make the cut, McIlroy achieved the third highest average driving distance, beaten only by Dustin Johnson and Andrés Romero. McIlroy played in two more events on the PGA Tour after the Masters Tournament including his first appearance at The Players Championship, where he missed the cut.
McIlroy then returned to Europe and recorded two top-25 finishes leading up to his first U.S. Open. He finished fifth at the BMW PGA Championship and 12th at the European Open. McIlroy played in his second major as a professional at the 2009 U.S. Open. His final round of 68 (−2) helped him finish in a tie for 10th, his first top-10 finish in a major. The following week, McIlroy finished in 15th place at the BMW International Open. McIlroy played in his first Open Championship as a professional in July and finished T-47. He finished T-3 at the 2009 PGA Championship.
McIlroy finished the 2009 season ranked second on the Race to Dubai, behind Lee Westwood, and in November he entered the top 10 of the world rankings for the first time. McIlroy finished 2009 ranked 9th in the world. In November 2009, McIlroy announced that he would join the American-based PGA Tour for the 2010 season.
McIlroy accepted an invitation from Gary Player to participate in the 2009 Nedbank Golf Challenge at the Gary Player Country Club at Sun City, South Africa in December, but withdrew after feeling unwell.
In the 2010 WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship, McIlroy beat Kevin Na 1-up in the first round and then lost on a playoff hole to Oliver Wilson. After the Accenture Match Play Championship, McIlroy took time off from golf due to a sore back. After a two-week break McIlroy returned in the 2010 Honda Classic and finished in a tie for 40th.
On 2 May, McIlroy recorded his first PGA Tour win after shooting 62 in the final round of the Quail Hollow Championship. The round set a new course record, and concluded with six consecutive scores of three. He became the first player since Tiger Woods to win a PGA Tour event prior to his 21st birthday. The win earned him a two-year Tour exemption. On 2 June, McIlroy played in the Memorial Skins Game at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio. McIlroy finished tied for 10th place at that same week's Memorial Tournament.
On 15 July 2010, McIlroy confirmed his status as a favourite for the Open title on the Old Course at St Andrews by shooting a 9-under-par 63 on the opening day, the lowest-ever first round score in the 150-year history of the Open Championship, and tying the course record. He missed a 5-foot birdie putt on the 17th, "The Road Hole", which would have given him the outright record. His tied third finish in the 2010 Open Championship sent him to a career high world ranking of seventh.
McIlroy missed out on a chance to win the 2010 PGA Championship when he three-putted the 15th green to fall out of a tie for the lead. His final-hole birdie putt narrowly missed the hole to leave him one stroke out of the playoff between Bubba Watson and eventual winner Martin Kaymer. McIlroy finished tied for third. On 4 October 2010, McIlroy won a crucial half-point to help Europe regain the Ryder Cup.
Following the Ryder Cup, he announced in November that he would return to play full-time on the European Tour, although he also stated that he would continue to play 11 or 12 tournaments in the US per year. He attributed the decision to having closer friends on the European Tour, his part in the Ryder Cup victory, and wanting to be nearer his girlfriend and family.
McIlroy later stated that he regretted his 2010 decision to give up his PGA Tour card, and his skipping the 2010 Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass. McIlroy's manager Chubby Chandler's aversion to the PGA Tour was cited by McIlroy as one of the main reasons for their later professional split.
On 7 April, McIlroy shot a bogey-free 7-under-par 65 in the first round of the Masters Tournament in Augusta, Georgia to take the lead after the first day of the four-day competition. At the time, he was the youngest player to lead the Masters Tournament at the close of the first day. On Friday, he shot 69 to lead by two strokes over Jason Day with a 10-under-par score. On Saturday, he shot 70 to finish at 12-under-par, four strokes ahead of four other challengers. However, on the fourth and final day, he shot the worst round in history by any professional golfer leading after the third round of the Masters Tournament. McIlroy scored one-over-par 37 on the first nine, and still had the lead, but shot a round of 80, finishing T15 at 4-under for the tournament.
McIlroy failed to make the cut in his title defense at Quail Hollow in early May, was well off the pace at the BMW PGA Championship. He held the 18 hole lead at the Memorial Tournament but finished in 5th place.
2011 U.S. Open win
McIlroy won the U.S. Open held at Congressional in Bethesda, Maryland on 19 June winning by eight strokes over Jason Day. McIlroy set several records in his victory, most notably, his 72-hole aggregate score of 268 (16-under) was a new U.S. Open record. The 268 aggregate beat the previous record of 272 held by Jack Nicklaus (Baltusrol, 1980), Lee Janzen (Baltusrol, 1993), Tiger Woods (Pebble Beach, 2000), and Jim Furyk (Olympia Fields, 2003). The 16-under in relation to par beat Tiger Woods' 12 under at Pebble Beach Golf Links in 2000. He became the youngest winner since Bobby Jones in 1923. The victory lifted McIlroy's position in the Official World Golf Ranking to a then career high of number four.
In preparation for the U.S. Open, McIlroy practised at Pine Valley Golf Club in New Jersey, rather than at Congressional, but did play two practice rounds at Congressional about a week before the start of the Open, after returning from a two-day trip to Haiti as an ambassador for UNICEF.
On 17 June during the second round, McIlroy became the first player in the history of the tournament to reach a score of 13-under-par at any point in the tournament. He achieved the feat by making birdie at the 17th hole in the second round. Despite a double bogey on the final hole, his two-day total of 131 (65-66, 11-under-par) set a record as the lowest 36-hole total in U.S. Open history. The score was one better than Ricky Barnes' 132 in 2009. He was also the fastest golfer to reach double digits under par in the U.S. Open, reaching 10 under par in 26 holes.
On 18 June, during the U.S. Open's third round, he became the first player to reach 14-under par at the tournament by making a birdie at the 15th hole, on his way to a 54-hole U.S. Open record of 199. In doing so, he also built an eight-stroke lead going into the final round. A final round of 69 allowed him to claim his first major championship setting the 72-hole record.
McIlroy took a month off from competitive golf. At The Open Championship he struggled in tough weather over a difficult layout at Royal St George's Golf Club, failing to contend with the conditions. He was again a non-factor at the PGA Championship at Atlanta Athletic Club after injuring his wrist on the 3rd hole of the first round after attempting to play a stroke from behind a tree root. McIlroy went on to win the Lake Malaren Shanghai Masters in a playoff against Anthony Kim. In November, he finished tied for 4th at the WGC-HSBC Champions to move to a then career high of number two in the Official World Golf Ranking. In December 2011, he won the UBS Hong Kong Open by two strokes.
McIlroy's first tournament of the year was at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship during the desert swing of the European Tour at the end of January. The tournament was in the spotlight due to its high-profile field including Tiger Woods, Luke Donald and Lee Westwood. McIlroy played alongside Woods and Donald in the marquee group during the first two days. McIlroy shot rounds of 67-72-68 to start round 4 in joint 3rd place behind joint leaders Robert Rock and Tiger Woods. He shot a 3-under-par 69 on Sunday to finish lone second, one stroke behind winner Robert Rock.
At the Omega Dubai Desert Classic McIlroy finished tied 5th on 14-under-par, four strokes behind winner Rafael Cabrera-Bello. He continued to play well at the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship in Arizona where he won matches against George Coetzee, Anders Hanson, Miguel Ángel Jiménez, Bae Sang-moon and Lee Westwood before losing to Hunter Mahan in the final. After 10 holes in the final match, McIlroy was 4 down to Mahan, but cut the deficit to 2 down through 16 holes. The 17th hole was halved with pars, securing the win for Mahan. There was anticipation surrounding the semi-final match between McIlroy and Westwood, as the winner would become the number one golfer in the world if they also won the final. McIlroy's runner-up finish moved him up to number two in the world while also putting him at the top of the Race to Dubai leaderboard.
The following week, McIlroy continued good form and won the Honda Classic in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, and with it claimed the Number 1 spot in the world rankings. He started the fourth round in first place at 11-under-par after rounds of 66-67-66, ahead of a chasing pack including Tiger Woods, Lee Westwood and Keegan Bradley. McIlroy shot a final round of 69 to claim his third PGA Tour title and finished two strokes ahead of Tiger Woods and Tom Gillis. McIlroy became the second youngest World Number 1 and moved up to fourth place in the FedEx Cup standings.
McIlroy played the following week at the WGC-Cadillac Championship in Miami, Florida. His recent good form began to dwindle slightly on Thursday, when he shot a 1-over par 73. However, he shot 69 and 65 the next two days to begin the fourth round in tied 8th place. Going into the back 9 on Sunday, he had a chance of winning his second title of 2012 in as many weeks due to the leaders faltering. However two late bogeys halted his chance and he settled for 3rd place, two strokes behind winner Justin Rose.
McIlroy lost his number one ranking on 18 March to Luke Donald after Donald won the Transitions Championship. McIlroy was one stroke off of the lead going into the weekend at The Masters but struggled in his last two rounds and finished in a tie for 40th. He regained the top spot in the world rankings on 15 April but lost it to Donald again on 29 April. On 6 May, McIlroy was in contention at the Wells Fargo Championship and went to a playoff with Rickie Fowler and D. A. Points. Fowler won the tournament on the first playoff hole with a birdie. The runner-up finish put McIlroy back at the top of the Official World Golf Ranking. After the runner-up finish, McIlroy would later miss the cut in his next three events, and fell again from number one ranking.
McIlroy won the 2012 PGA Championship by a record eight strokes, which was done with a birdie on the final hole. The record stood since Jack Nicklaus won the 1980 PGA Championship by seven strokes. McIlroy started the final round with a three stroke lead and shot a bogey free 66 to run away from the field. With this win, McIlroy became the youngest multiple major champion since Seve Ballesteros won the 1980 Masters Tournament, and the sixth youngest of all time. The win also helped McIlroy regain the world number one ranking.
McIlroy finished the regular season third in the FedEx Cup standings. At The Barclays, the first of four playoff events, he finished in a tie for 24th, dropping him to fourth in the standings. McIlroy won the following week at the Deutsche Bank Championship to take the top spot in the standings. McIlroy entered the final round three strokes behind Louis Oosthuizen and defeated him by one stroke. The win also put McIlroy at the top of the PGA Tour money list. McIlroy's success continued the following week when he won the BMW Championship. He was 40-under par for his two playoff tournament victories. With the win, he became the first European to win four PGA Tour events in a single season and the only person other than Tiger Woods to win four events in a season since 2005.
McIlroy topped the qualification standings for the 2012 Ryder Cup. He picked up three points for the European team, partnering with Graeme McDowell in two foursomes and one fourballs match, and with Ian Poulter in the second day fourballs. On the final day, a mix up with his tee time meant that he arrived only 12 minutes before he was due to tee off, after being escorted in by a police officer. He defeated Keegan Bradley 2&1 to help Europe win 13½-14½.
Following Europe's victory in the Ryder Cup, McIlroy turned his attention to winning the Race to Dubai. A second place at the BMW Masters was followed by a third place at the Barclays Singapore Open to wrap up the title with two events remaining. To finish off his season, he won the DP World Tour Championship, Dubai, making birdie on the last five holes to beat Justin Rose by two strokes. He thus duplicated Luke Donald's 2011 feat of winning both the PGA Tour and European Tour money titles in the same year.
McIlroy began 2013 with high aspirations, but mostly did not fare well in early tournaments. Struggling with the equipment change having signed a large endorsement deal with Nike in January, he withdrew from the Honda Classic in February, and finished in two over par and in a tie for 25th place at the 2013 Masters Tournament. McIlroy won the 2013 Emirates Australian Open on the 72nd hole. He beat Australian Adam Scott by one stroke.
In January, McIlroy was hit with a two-shot penalty for not taking proper and full relief after driving onto a spectator pathway in the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship, his first event of the season. He was alerted to his mistake by Scottish caddie Dave Renwick after his round and, after signing for a 70 instead of a 68 to reflect the penalty, he told reporters: "There are many stupid rules in golf and this is one of them." The two-shot penalty ultimately cost him dearly, as he lost the tournament by a single shot.
In March, McIlroy lost in a four-man sudden-death playoff at the Honda Classic on the PGA Tour, despite leading the tournament through all four rounds until the back nine on Sunday. He shot a final round 74 (+4) and had a superb second shot to the par-five 18th in regulation play to qualify for the playoff, after missing the eagle putt for the win. He lost on the first extra hole, when Russell Henley was the only one of the four to birdie the hole.
In May in England, McIlroy won the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth by one stroke. He carded a six-under-par 66 final round to beat Thomas Bjørn, who started the day seven strokes clear of McIlroy. The win was McIlroy's first on either of the two major tours in 18 months.
On 20 July, McIlroy won the 2014 Open Championship at Royal Liverpool by two strokes over Rickie Fowler and Sergio García to capture the third major championship of his career, having led the field throughout the tournament. McIlroy and Tiger Woods are the only golfers to win both The Silver Medal and The Gold Medal at The Open Championship. His third major title having won the 2011 U.S. Open and 2012 PGA Championship, McIlroy became the first European to win three different majors and joined Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods as one of three golfers since the first Masters Tournament in 1934 to win three majors by the age of 25.