McIlroy still well ahead of the cut as he turns 25

What do you give to a 25-year-old who has virtually everything?

That was the question facing those close to Rory McIlroy, including fiancée Caroline Wozniacki, plus good friends Mitchell Tweedie and Ricky McCormick along with his long-time caddy JP Fitzgerald and manager Sean O’Flaherty, who celebrated his birthday into the wee hours of yesterday morning.

Golf fans sang ‘Happy Birthday’ to McIlroy at virtually every turn of the Quail Hollow course on Sunday, but in the immediate minutes after his round McIlroy was clearly in no mood to blow out any birthday candles after recording his seventh top-10 in 10 events this year.

However, in the five years and seven months since turning professional, the former St Patrick’s Primary School and then Sullivan Upper School student can be rightly proud of his achievements: Two Major victories, four regular PGA Tour wins, three victories on the European Tour, last year’s Australian Open success and other triumphs in made-for-TV events in China.

He went to No 1 in the world with his 2012 Honda Classic success.

McIlroy’s career earnings alone in just 66 events on the PGA Tour amount to $16.634m (€11.98m) which averages $252,043 a tournament.

“If you had of asked when I was 18 years of age and just turning pro where do you envisage yourself on your 25th birthday, I don’t think I could have imagined what I have achieved in my golfing career,” he said.

“It was something I was discussing with JP (Fitzgerald, his caddy) on Sunday, so to have won two Majors and reached such highs as No 1 in the world is great. It’s something I am proud of, very proud of.”

Of course, there’s been the unnecessary outside the ropes distractions, including the split from two management companies and the unsavoury severing of ties with a sponsor.

Being a double Major winner has meant McIlroy having to say ‘no’ now more often, but the well-mannered 18-year-old that faced the cameras in September 2008 is still that same person.

“There is that competitive side of me where you expect more of yourself given what you have achieved and what you have accomplished,” he said. “I also look back on the past five years or so having learnt so much, and it’s been a great five years or so.

“I’ve learnt so much also from the ups-and-downs of last year, so much so you do need a reality check every now and then. But looking back to the day when I turned pro and where I have come, and now what I have achieved since then, it has been a great journey and I wouldn’t take anything back.”

© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved

Email Updates

Receive our lunchtime briefing straight to your inbox

More in this Section

‘This was the worst example of driving I have ever seen’

Security men burst in on couple in state of undress

Cyclist died after crashing into parked jeep

Simon Coveney stages comeback


Breaking Stories

Judge advises couple to 'sit back and think about your child', says they use boy as pawn

One missing and one rescued as boat sinks off Dublin coast

Woman who alleges rape by Tinder date tells trial she feared he would beat her up

Weather for the weekend

Lifestyle

My life in colour - Anne Madden on artistic success and a life in France and Ireland

Ask Audrey - 'There is no such thing as a Kerry man with only small amounts of perspiration'

DNA testing to determine your family history can provide some surprising results

Stay protected this summer with the latest sunscreens

More From The Irish Examiner