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Golf star Rory to celebrate 21st party with $1m victory

IRISH golfing sensation Rory McIlroy will celebrate his 21st tomorrow $1m richer.

Tiger Woods was knocked out of the tournament on Friday and said he would be watching his competitors to see how it was done -- step forward Rory McIlroy.

There will be a huge birthday bash for the star at Sawgrass tomorrow but his first telephone call will be to his parents and girlfriend back home in Co Down.

"I'm going to have a bit of a party on Tuesday night at Sawgrass [for my 21st]," said the ecstatic Rory.

"The first call is to my mum and dad up in Lough Erne and then my girlfriend Holly."

McIlroy scorched home to record his first victory on the PGA tour and cement his position as the best up and coming golfer on the planet.

His career earnings have now sky-rocketed to more than €5.5m despite his youth.

The Ulsterman broke the course record with a final round of 62 in the North Carolinian sunshine to claim the Quail Hollow Championship, his second professional tournament victory.

McIlroy had Masters winner Phil Mickelson trailing in his wake as he played the golf of his life to claim victory.

He was stunned afterwards and claimed that he just got into an unstoppable groove.

"Ridiculous," he said afterwards when asked to sum up his round. "I just got in the zone. I saw my shots and just hit them and I saw the line of my putts and they just went in.

"You know, the last two days it seemed as if everything had just gone right," said McIlroy.

"You get yourself into sort of a mind-set like that, and you just keep going."

The Quail Hollow golf course has a reputation for being one of the toughest courses in world golf and this was confirmed when world number one Tiger Woods missed the cut.

Significantly, McIlroy has become the youngest man to win on the US Tour since Tiger Woods claimed his first title at the Las Vegas invitational in 1996.

After missing the cut on Friday, Tiger Woods said he'd take the opportunity to watch the telecast of the tournament, joking that he'd let those playing for the title show him how it's done.

Left-hander Mickelson, who led home the rest of the field, lauded the achievements of McIlroy after he thought his final round 68 would be enough for victory.

"I was out on the course after five or six holes, thinking that 68 was the number [to win the tournament]," he said.

"But I have got to congratulate Rory.

"To shoot 30 on the back nine to win this tournament, on this course; he is some kind of player."

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