Rory McIlroy - Professional Golfer
Rory McIlroy - Early Days
Rory McIlroy is a professional golfer from Northern Ireland. He was born on 4th May 1989 and had been a golf prodigy from a very young age. He turned professional in 2007 at the young age of 18 and has been heralded as 'the new Tiger Woods' a few times since.
His first victory came in the Dubai Desert Classic in 2009 where he just held his nerve on the last hole to chip out of the bunker and win the event by one shot from Justin Rose. I was lucky enough to be a marshal at that event and got my marshal's cap signed by him just after he had collected the trophy.
In 2009 he also became runner up in the inaugural Race to Dubai after an amazing year on the professional golfing circuit.
Since then he has continued to win events and has at times had variable form. Having now won 2 majors and reached number one in the world, the question is where will he go from here?
Ryder Cup Team
In 2010 he was chosen to represent Europe on the Ryder Cup team for the first time. Having been sceptical about the event previously, with this event he was totally overtaken with the whole emotion of the game and the magnitude of the crowds response to the Ryder Cup players and said that he never wanted to miss out on a Ryder Cup team selection again! of course it helped the the European team took the victory and that he was playing with one of his great friends and fellow Irish golfer, Graeme McDowell.
He was in the team again in 2012 and it seems likely this is the start of a long Ryder Cup career as long as he can keep his play reasonably consistent.
Rory McIlroy on Twitter
In 2010 Rory McIlroy signed up on twitter along with quite a few other golfers like Ian Poulter, Lee Westwood, Paul Casey, Graeme McDowell and it is fun to listen to all the banter between the players. If you really want to get an insight into what the life of a professional golfer involves then follow them on twitter and you will really see!
2011 Masters Meltdown
In the 2011 Master from Augusta, Rory led the pack for the first 3 days of the tournament. However, having gone into day 4 with a 4 shot lead, the pressure became too much for the 21 year old and he did seem to have a bit of a golf meltdown with a final round of 80. It was no wonder really for someone of such a young age with that kind of pressure on him. But no doubt he has learnt from the experience and one day with clinch that major title.
Rory McIlroy Wins The 2011 US Open
So for the first 3 days Rory McIlroy blew away the field at the US Open and at the end of 54 holes he was 8 shots ahead of his nearest rival, although a couple of the players looking to reach him had great 3rd rounds of 6 under - notably Lee Westwood and Jason Day. YE Yang was the closest contender - he had a solid if unsensational round to hold his position in 2nd place overnight. Rory McIlroy became the quickest player to reach 10 under in the US Open, even eclipsing Tiger Woods achievements in 2000 and also the only player to reach 17 under during the tournament.
Some people doubted him, but it seemed that Rory McIlroy was a different man to the one who had thrown the Masters away on the last day just a few months earlier. In winning the US Open, he broke quite a lot of records, including being the youngest ever winner at 22 years and 1 month, beating Jack Nicklaus who was 22 and 4 months. He also posted the lowest total score over the 4 days and the lowest ever score for a US Open at 16 under par.
Rory McIlroy's Girlfriend
Although when McIlroy started in his professional golfing career he had a long term girlfriend from his home town of Portrush in Northern Ireland, after a while the travelling and rising stardom led to their split.
Since 2011 he has been in a relationship with the world number 1 tennis player Caroline Wozniaki. There relationship seems to be playing out to quite an extent in the public eye and they have not made much of an attempt to keep it out of the public eye. With both athletes having quite punishing schedules it will be interesting to see if the relationship can keep pace with their travelling.
How Far Can Rory McIlroy Go?
Many have predicted that Rory will win more majors than Tiger Woods. Well now he has the first one under his belt so the pressure is off. Tiger Woods has won 14 major titles and it is predicted Rory will win even more than this. He is only 23 so has plenty of time to catch up. However, once you have won one major title it seems that the press imagine that the rest will come thick and fast. Having said that it does seem that Rory himself is not phased by all this attention and is taking it in his stride. Having been brought up as a golf prodigy from an early age he already seems to have an old head on his young shoulders and so hopefully can continue to improve as time goes on.
Poll (Now Closed!)
Do You Think Rory McIlroy Will become Number 1 In The World?
- 73% Yes, in the next 5 years
- 18% Yes, eventually
- 9% No
- 0% Maybe
This poll is now closed to voting.
Rory is World Number 1
So, like most of you predicted in the poll, Rory McIlroy has become the second youngest world golf number one ever. The youngest of course was Tiger Woods who became world number 1 at the age of 21. So at 22 years old Rory is not far off and it will be interesting to see if he can gather as many victories as Tiger has.
His promotion to world number one came after his victory at the Honda Classic in Palm beach, Florida on 4 march 2012, when he held Tiger Woods himself to 2nd place to claim victory with a steady 2 under par round which consolidated his lead from day 3. Tiger was on a charge with an 8 under par final round but had to settle for second place.
McIlroy takes over the world number 1 spot from Luke Donald.
Rory McIlroy Wins His Second Major
So Rory has got his second major victory under his belt by winning the USPGA in August 2012. It was an emphatic victory as he stormed away to win by 8 shots from his nearest rival David Lynn.
McIlroy's form has been a bit hit and miss in the last year and he has missed a bunch of cuts recently. However, this latest win puts him back in the world number one spot so it will be interesting to see how long he can stay there this time.
Rory Ends a Great 2012 Season
So, with consistency on his side Rory managed to top the US money list, win the Race to Dubai and at the final event of the season he won the DP World Tour Championship. McIlroy had the Race to Dubai in the bag before the final event even started as he was way ahead of his nearest rival Luke Donald, but all was to play for in the final competition.
McIlroy was tied for the lead with Luke Donald after the 3rd round but ended up a 2 shot winner after finishing his final round with 5 birdies.
With such a great end to the 2012 season, even better things are predicted for McIlroy for 2013.
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