The 23-year old returned to action, at the Wells Fargo Championship in Charlotte, yesterday after a three-week break and celebrates his birthday today with the help of a €13m fortune to join the top 100 wealthiest sports people in Britain and Ireland.
The Holywood golfer also took a three-week break from the game prior to this year’s US Masters in what he says is an attempt to elongate his time at the top of the tree. “I don’t want to be burned out by the time I’m 30,” he has explained.
At his age, the expectation is that McIlroy will win many more Majors which should see him shoot even further up the Rich List in years to come. Last year, McIlroy only featured in the list of wealthy young sportsmen, aged 30 and under, with an estimated worth of €8m.
Four years have passed since Pádraig Harrington won the last of his three Majors, the 2008 US PGA Championship, but the Dubliner remains second on golf’s ladder with a personal wealth of €40m while Graeme McDowell is 11th with €14m.
The list’s fourth Irishman, Darren Clarke, and Lee Westwood have each seen their golf fortunes fall by €7m after they lost money by clubbing together to buy a 10-seater Challenger 601 jet at the top of the market and selling it at the bottom.
The 2012 Golf Rich List is headed by Nick Faldo, worth €41m, who is estimated to have added €2m after tax to his fortune in the last year, from television commentary, golf course design and sponsorship deals.
Alex Ferguson heads the equivalent list for football with a fortune that stands at €38m but the Irish influence to the beautiful game’s top dozen earners is significant with Roy Keane, Giovanni Trapattoni and Martin O’Neill all making the stage. Ferguson tops the list from Keane (€35m), with Trapattoni fourth (€24m) and Sunderland manager O’Neill joint 11th at €12m.
1) Nick Faldo €41m up from €39m
2) Padraig Harrington €40m up from €39m
3) Colin Montgomerie €34m up from €30m
4=) Luke Donald €30m up from €23m
4=) Lee Westwood €30m down from €37m
6=) Ian Poulter €24m no change
6=) Ian Woosnam €24m no change
8) Darren Clarke €18m down from €25m
9=) Paul Casey €17m no change
9=) Justin Rose €17m no change
11) Graeme McDowell €14m up from €12m
12) Rory McIlroy €13m up from
1) Alex Ferguson €39m up from €33m
2) Roy Keane €35m down from €36m
3) Arsene Wenger €31m down from €36m
4) Giovanni Trapattoni €24m no change
5) Roberto Mancini €22m up from €19m
6) Sven Goran Eriksson €19m no change
7) Steve Bruce €17m up from €13m
8) Harry Redknapp €14m new
9=) Roy Hodgson €13m new
9=) Mark Hughes €13m no change
11=) Martin O’Neill €12m no change
11=) David Moyes €12m new