Rory McIlroy won his third major in as many years with a two-shot victory from Sergio Garcia and Rickie Fowler in the Open Championship at Royal Liverpool and in so doing made his father Gerry a lot of money.
The 2011 US Open champion and 2012 USPGA winner carded four birdies and three bogeys in the final round on Sunday, protecting his six-shot overnight lead to end on 17 under.
A decade ago, McIlroy was a 15-year-old kid showing promise in golf and a dad who believed in him wholeheartedly.So much so, that Gerry McIlroy and three friends put together £400 (CI$560) on an audacious bet that the teenager would win the Open Championship before he turned 26. The odds were 500-1.
McIlroy’s win saw that bet materialize for a payout of £200,000 ($308,000).
McIlroy joins only Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus on an elite golfing podium by winning three majors so young.
The Northern Irishman delivered a masterclass at this week’s Open at Hoylake.
McIlroy joins American Phil Mickelson as the only current players to be one leg away from a career Grand Slam of all four majors.
Only five players have won all four in their careers – Nicklaus, Woods, Gary Player, Ben Hogan and Gene Sarazen.
McIlroy joked when accepting his prizes, “Even though I’m a Manchester United fan, I still got great support.”
He also congratulated Garcia and Fowler for giving him a close contest and said he is looking forward to returning next year to St. Andrews to defend his title.