Rory McIlroy is the golfer from Northern Ireland whose powerful game and personal charm made him one of the world’s most famous athletes by the age of 25. Rory McIlroy was born near Belfast in 1989 and was a true prodigy, swinging miniature clubs before he was two and becoming a member of his local club, Holywood Golf Club, at age 7. After a string of youth and amateur wins, he turned pro at age 18 in 2007. Two years later he bagged his first professional win, the Dubai Desert Classic in February of 2009. He won his first major tournament, the U.S. Open, in 2011 when he was just 22 years old. Slim and boyish, and known for his broad smile and huge drives, McIlroy soon became a fan favorite. With his star rising just as longtime superstar Tiger Woods was suffering through health problems and a messy divorce, McIlroy in March of 2012 became the #1-ranked player in the world. In 2013 he signed a colossal 10-year endorsement contract with Nike, which was reported to be worth up to $250 million dollars (or about £156 million) over 10 years. He continued to make good on his early promise, winning the PGA Championship in 2012 and 2014 and the British Open in 2014, along with several other pro tournaments. His 2014 victories in the British Open and the PGA made Rory McIlroy only the third golfer, after Woods and Jack Nicklaus, to win four majors by age 25.
Rory McIlroy is 5’10” tall and weighs 160 pounds, according to the PGA Tour… Rory McIlroy dated Danish tennis star Caroline Wozniacki from 2011 until 2014. They became engaged to be married on New Year’s Eve of 2013, but McIlroy broke off the engagement in May of 2014… McIlroy’s win in the 2014 British Open was a boon for his father, Gerry McIlroy. When Rory was 15, the elder McIlroy bet £100 at 500-1 odds with Ladbrokes that Rory would win the Open Championship (the British Open) by the age of 25. The bet won £50,000 when Rory won the tournament at exactly age 25… Rory McIlroy was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) by Queen Elizabeth II in 2012.
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