RORY MCILROY: Will the Northern Irishman have the last laugh over the ‘greedy’ golf rebels
Golf’s purists will be hoping that the mercurial McIlroy can win The Open at St Andrews, wiping the smile off the faces of the ‘greedy’ rebels whose heads have been turned by Saudi millions to join the LIV Series.
Here’s a look at the man who can save the soul of his sport at its ancestral home.
His record: McIlroy, 33, is a four-time major champion, winning the 2011 US Open, 2012 PGA Championship, 2014 Open Championship and 2014 PGA Championship. He has been part of Europe’s winning Ryder Cup team on four occasions.
His relationships: McIlroy dated Danish tennis professional Caroline Wozniacki from 2011 to 2014, becoming engaged on 31 December 2013. He famously broke it off five months later having already sent out the weddding invitations.
He then dated former PGA of America employee, Erica Stoll, becoming engaged in December 2015, and marrying her in April 2017 at Ashford Castle in County Mayo. The couple have a daughter Poppy, aged two.
His money: The golf star has established himself as one of the greatest golfers of all time and is worth $170 million (£140 million) according to Celebrity Net Worth.
Endorsements and brand deals make up the bulk of McIlroy’s net worth. He reportedly earns over $37 million (£30.6 million) from his long-standing Nike endorsement. He also reportedly has a deal with TaylorMade, worth $100 million (£83 million) over 10 years.
His property: McIlroy owns a massive 12,800-square-foot Florida mansion bought for £8.5million from legendary PGA star Ernie Els. It is located at The Bear’s Club, a golf development which was founded by Jack Nicklaus in 1999 and is 85 miles north of Miami.
High point: Winning the US Open in 2011 by a staggering eight strokes, his first major championship triumph. The win came courtesy of several landmarks, including the lowest total 72-hole score (268) and the lowest total under-par score (16 under).
Low point: Undoubtedly that engagement bolt from the blue in 2014 when the 25-year-old golfer broke up with Wozniacki over the phone.
The Times’ Neil Harman reported their conversation lasted just three minutes in total, with the young tennis star initially thinking her fiance was kidding.
McIlroy commented at the time: “There is no right way to end a relationship that has been so important to two people. The problem is mine. The wedding invitations issued at the weekend made me realise that I wasn’t ready for all that marriage entails. I wish Caroline all the happiness she deserves and thank her for the great times we’ve had.”
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