Rory McIlroy has shown over the past four weeks that he can carry the moniker of Champion. He has shown he is not the self-important tour player that seems to epitomize many tournament players of today. Nope, Rory McIlroy is real. He is humble, down to earth, unpretentious, unassuming and above all- himself.
What we have witnessed since July 20th 2014 when this young man won the most important event in his life, the Open Championship, is a professional golfer who didn’t burst on the PGA Tour via a multimillion dollar contract before playing in a professional event.
Rory’s competitive career started well before 2007 when he turned professional at the age of 17. His first world stage victory was in the 9 to 10 age division at the World Championships in Miami, Florida. At age 11, Rory was shooting even par, 69, around his home course, the Holywood Golf Club in Northern Ireland. In 2004 he was on the Junior Ryder Cup winning team.
McIlroy played his first professional event, as an amateur at the 2005 British Masters at 15. He won the North of Ireland Amateur Open by a record besting 3 shots and became the youngest player to win two events in his home country; the West Of Ireland Championship and Irish Close Championship. The same year, his score of 61 and 11-under par total, set a record at the North of Ireland Amateur Open. (He successfully defended both titles the following year.) Finally in 2006 Rory won the International European Amateur.
McIlroy showed up on America’s golf radar with his win at Quail Hollow in 2010, (at 21), then at Congressional Country Club winning the U.S.Open Championship by 8 shots in 2011, (at 22), with a record setting 268.
Did we know on Sunday when Rory won the 96th PGA Championship, his 4th major, that he has been playing competitive golf on the world stage for more than half his young life? I seriously doubt it.
Rory McIlroy, from the modest community of Holywood, Northern Ireland, population just over 12,000, has accomplished his goals because his parents made sure their son was equipped with the values and ethics that would enable him to achieve his goals.
What Rory has done in this summer of 2014 is no surprise to parents Gerry and Rosie or the members of Holywood Golf Club who watched him grow up. McIlroy is not on a ‘streak’. He is preparing to take his place among the greatest players ever to play the game.
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