Over the span of 3 and a half years, Irish golfer Rory McIlroy won four major championships: 2011 U.S. Open, 2012 PGA Championship, 2014 British Open Championship, and 2014 PGA Championship.
While he hasn’t won a major since, he has been one of golf’s greatest players for the last two years. Dating back to the 2019-19 season, McIlroy has five tournament wins and has finished in the top 10 28 times in 35 events.
Let’s learn a little more about the 31-year-old star from Northern Ireland. Here are five unbelievable stories about Rory McIlroy.
At the 2015 Masters tournament in Augusta, Georgia, McIlroy asked Niall Horan, frontman for the English-Irish pop band One Direction, to be his caddy during the Par 3 contest.
Rumor has it, Horan would do this favor for McIlroy as long as he would join the band on stage during a concert in Boston. Due to the persistent prayers of music-lovers around the world, McIlroy never made an appearance. Crisis averted.
From 2011-2014, McIlroy enjoyed a four-year relationship with Danish tennis star Caroline Wozniacki. The couple announced their engagement toward the end of 2013.
Just days after the wedding invitations were sent to family and friends, McIlroy realized he “wasn’t ready for all that marriage entails.” The proper thing to do would have been to have a meaningful face-to-face conversation about what he was feeling.
Here’s the problem: that’s not what happened at all.
Rather, immediately following his change of mind, McIlroy called her on the phone, had a brief conversation, and called off the wedding. I mean, at least he didn’t text her… Right?
McIlroy’s father, Gerry, has always supported his son’s talents and golf career. In fact, he has so much confidence in McIlroy’s raw skills that he placed a bet when Rory was just 15 years old.
In 2004, Gerry made a bet in Belfast that his son would one day win the British Open. Roughly a decade later, Gerry collected £100,000 (approx. $136K) at 500/1 odds. Looks like both Rory and his pops win that day!
On the 177-yard 15th hole of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship in 2015, McIlroy sank his first hole-in-one as a tournament professional. He aced the par three using just a 9-iron.
McIlroy’s impressive feat, however, wasn’t the first hole-in-one he ever shot. When he was just nine years old, Rory aced a hole at his home course in Holywood, Northern Ireland. He used a 9-iron for this shot as well.
During the second round of the WGC-Cadillac Championship in 2015, McIlroy got ticked off after he hit his 3-iron approach into the water. As a result, he reunited his club with the ball by launching it into the lake.
Donald Trump, the owner of the golf resort where the tournament was being played, ordered a scuba diver to jump into the lake to retrieve McIlroy’s club.
Rather than putting it back into his bag, McIlroy let Trump put it on display above the bar in the clubhouse.