Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy holds up the Claret Jug after winning the 2014 British Open Golf Championship at Royal Liverpool Golf Course in Hoylake, north west England on July 20, 2014. McIlroy won the British Open at Royal Liverpool Golf Course in Hoylake with a final round of 71.
Photograph by: ANDREW YATES, AFP/Getty Images
HOYLAKE, England - Not that Rory McIlroy's stardom wasn't predicted, but
his father put his money where his mouth was.
According to the BBC's Andrew Cotter, 10 years ago Gerry McIlroy made a
legal bet of 200 British pounds (approximately $366.80 Canadian) at odds
of 500/1 that the then-15-year-old would win the Open in the next 10
years, before he turned 26. A year later some friends made similar bets on
McIlroy was 25 years, 2 months and 16 days old Sunday, Gerry will collect
100,000 pounds ($183,400) from Ladbrokes.
"Honestly, that (money) that he's going to win is ... I mean, the other
three friends that he did that with, they¹re going to be very happy,"
McIlroy said Sunday evening. "He's never reminded me. I knew that he¹d
done it. I'm not sure if it will pay out. If it does, it's a nice little
EYES ARE SMILING: McIlroy's victory made it, incredibly, five wins for
Northern Ireland players in the last 19, dating back to the 2010 U.S. Open
at Pebble Beach: three by McIlroy, one each by Graeme McDowell and Darren
Clarke. Not bad for a country with a population of 1.8 million.
And throw in three by Ireland's Padraig Harrington, back-to-back Open wins
in 2007 and 2008 and his '08 PGA title.
"It¹s the golden generation," said McDowell, as McIlroy was a couple of
holes away from finishing. "Eight major championships. We're assuming he¹s
getting this done, here. Listen, s--t happens. But eight major
championships. It's added something to the pot. With the Open Championship
announcement (for Royal Portrush in 2019), and if Rory gets it done here
today, it's pretty exciting times."
TAKE A HIKE: McIlroy was in the middle of his tee shot at the par-five
16th when a disturbance behind him made him turn and scowl, though his
drive went long and straight.
He pointed to the offending spectator, and police hauled him away.
"He was giving me grief all day, actually. And I sort of put up with it
for the first 15 holes, and then he deliberately coughed on my downswing
on the 16th tee. I still hit a great drive. But I heard it halfway down
and I knew who it was," McIlroy said. "So I turned around and got him
chucked out, thankfully."
OVER TO YOU, TOM: After the applause died down from his closing 68 Sunday,
Tom Watson had to field questions about the fellow he beat by seven shots
in the final round of the Open Championship. Some fella named Tiger.
Woods didn't do himself a lot of good in his campaign to be a captain¹s
pick on Watson¹s Ryder Cup team, finishing 69th among the 72 players who
made the cut.
Watson, at age 64, was five strokes better than Woods on the week.
"It's just one day. It's a snapshot. It's not a big deal," Watson said of
Tiger's 75. He said he definitely is not going to automatically pick Woods
or Phil Mickelson, who at least showed some life Sunday shooting 68 to
But that talk Watson was going to have with Woods this week?
"I just said hello. We're going to talk on the phone. Again, it's a little
bit early with Tiger to even talk to as far as where he is. Where it needs
to be is higher up on the list."
REHAB CONTINUES: Woods, who had said that nothing less than victory here
would be acceptable, admitted he anticipated being rusty, "but I just
thought that, I know how to play links golf, I know how to grind it on
these golf courses, and ... I thought I could get around here."
THAT OTHER T.W.: Watson's performance here sets him up nicely for next
week's Senior Open Championship at Royal Porthcawl, Wales.
"I don¹t know anything about the golf course, but it's fun to finish with
a birdie and finish the way I did, and get ready to go to the next
tournament," he said. "You feel lighter. You don't feel heavy. You don¹t
feel like you have a burden that you're taking with you. Keep it running,
keep the engine running, if you can. Wake up every morning not in too much
pain and go from there."
SOON, NOT YET: Rickie Fowler was asked whether McIlroy¹s third major and
his own strong play here and in the U.S. Open signals a changing of the
guard atop world golf.
"I mean, we¹ve been here for a few years. Rory is obviously doing well
with three majors now. I definitely have some catching up to do," he said.
"As far as changing of the guard, I don't see Tiger and Phil and some of
those guys running off anywhere. We¹re ready to go to battle against them,
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