Saturday 18 November 2017

Rory McIlroy factfile

1989: Born on May 4 in Holywood, Co Down to Rosie and Gerry McIlroy.

1991: Hits a 40-yard drive at the age of two.

1998: Makes his first hole in one.

2004: Helps Europe win the Junior Ryder Cup.

2005: Becomes the youngest winner of the West of Ireland and Irish Close Championships before playing in his first professional European Tour event as a 16-year-old at the Forest of Arden. In July, McIlroy shoots a course-record 61 on the Dunluce links at Royal Portrush, leaving the Walker Cup selectors red-faced after they controversially omitted him from the 10-man team for that September's match with the USA in Chicago.

2006: Retains both Irish amateur titles, and in August wins the European Amateur Championship in Italy. Represents Ireland in the Eisenhower Trophy and the Amateur World Team Championship in October.

2007: May -- Makes the cut in a European Tour event for the first time at the Dubai Desert Classic. Has to forego prize money of more than €7,000 because of his amateur status.

July -- Hits the headlines with an opening three-under-par round of 68 in the British Open at Carnoustie. He goes on to tie for 42nd position, landing the Silver Medal as leading amateur. As he embraces the Claret Jug, Padraig Harrington quips: 'I'm just glad I managed to get my hands on this trophy before Rory -- he's going to win plenty of these".

September -- Plays on the Great Britain and Ireland team beaten by the USA at the Walker Cup in Royal County Down.

September 18 -- After topping the amateur rankings, McIlroy turns pro. The teenager then makes the cut in his first professional event at the Quinn Direct British Masters.

October -- Finishes third in his second pro event, the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship. The following week, he secures his card for the 2008 season by finishing in a tie for fourth place at the Open de Madrid. He finishes 2007 in 95th place on the Order of Merit list.

2008: January 27 -- Enters the top 200 of the world rankings for the first time.

September 7 -- Takes a four-shot lead into the final round at the Omega European Masters in Switzerland but bogeys the 18th to tie with Jean-Francois Lucquin, who wins in a play-off. Finishes season in top 100 of the world rankings and ranked 36th on the Order of Merit.

November -- Finishes second in the UBS Hong Kong Open, and attains world ranking position of 50, making him the youngest player ever to make the top 50. A joint-third placing in the South African Open earns him a spot at the Masters in April 2009, only 18 months after turning pro.

2009: February 1 -- Wins first professional title at the Dubai Desert Classic (Left) by one shot from Justin Rose, lifting him to 16th in the rankings.

April -- Plays his first major as a professional at The Masters. He finishes the tournament at two-under in a tie for 20th.

June -- Makes his US Open debut and impresses, finishing 10th.

July -- Plays in first British Open as a professional. His final position is tied 47th.

August -- Achieves his best finish in a Major to date, tied third at the US PGA.

November -- After finishing second to Lee Westwood in the Race to Dubai, enters the world's top 10 for the first time.

2010: May 2 -- Secures first PGA Tour win with victory in the Quail Hollow Championship. His final-round 62 is a new course record. Becomes the first player since Tiger Woods to triumph on the PGA Tour prior to his 21st birthday.

July 15 -- Shoots a nine-under-par 63 on the opening day at St Andrews to lead the British Open. Rounds of 80, 68 and 69 see him end the tournament tied for third to rise to seventh in the world.

August 15 -- Ties for third in the USPGA Championship at Whistling Straits.

October 4 -- Wins a crucial half-point against Stewart Cink to help Europe win the Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor.

November -- McIlroy announces his intention to return to the European Tour in 2011.

2011: April 10 -- Leads by four strokes going into the final day of The US Masters, but implodes on the back nine at Augusta National, racking up a triple-bogey seven at the 10th, followed by a three-putt bogey at 11 and a four-putt double-bogey at 12, after which he pulled his drive into the water at 13. The heart-rending image of the Northern Irishman (Right) with his tousled head in the crook of his arm on that tee remains indelible in the memory of Irish golf fans ... as does the courageous and dignified TV interview the youngster did immediately after his round.

April 18 -- McIlroy shows the resilience of youth by finishing third behind Italian teenager Matteo Manassero in the Malaysian Open in Kuala Lumpur -- his first event since his Masters meltdown.

June 5 -- After losing to best mate Graeme McDowell in the last 16 at the World Match Play and missing the cut on his title defence at Quail Hollow, McIlroy's morale gets a super-boost ahead of the US Open as he finishes in fifth place at the Memorial, giving a hot performance on the super-slick greens at Muirfield Village.

June 17 -- US Open records tumble on Friday at Congressional as McIlroy speeds to the lowest 36-hole total ever, 131 strokes, at the game's toughest championship. McIlroy becomes the fastest player to reach double figures under par when an eagle on eight moves him to 10-under through just 26 holes, 13 faster than Gil Morgan at Pebble Beach in 1992. He also plumbs lower than anyone at the US Open, 13-under, with his fifth birdie of the day at 17 and, despite a double-bogey at 18, equals the record lead of six strokes going into the weekend set by Morgan in '92 and matched by Tiger Woods, again at Pebble Beach, in 2000.

June 19 -- A third-round 68 establishes a record new low of 14-under-par at the US Open. His eight-stroke lead going into the final round is the second biggest in the history of the event -- the biggest lead after 54 holes was 10, by Woods, who won by 15 at Pebble Beach in 2000.

Irish Independent

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