Rory McIlroy dedicates Open win to mother
McIlroy enters record books with latest title
There were tears of joy from his mum as Rory McIlroy took the Open title – and for the first time she was there to see her son triumph.
His third Major win was perhaps more special than the previous two with his mum Rosie there to cheer him on.
After he won yesterday the first person Rory looked for was his mum, waving her onto the 18th green where the pair smiled and hugged tightly amid the cheers of the crowd as she wiped away tears.
"It feels incredible," the Co Down man said afterwards.
Despite leading all the way, he admitted it wasn't an easy win: "There were a few guys making runs at me and I just needed to stay focused.
"To win three legs of the Grand Slam at 25 is a pretty big achievement."
McIlroy secured a two-shot victory over Sergio Garcia and Rickie Fowler in the tense and sweaty 143rd Open Championship at Royal Liverpool.
He'd started the day six shots clear but played a workmanlike rather than spectacular round as the other contenders tried and failed to catch him
Rory joins fellow golf greats Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus as the only three players to win three Majors by the age of 25.
The Holywood star needs to only complete the US Masters now for a career Grand Slam.
The Claret Jug and £975,000 can how be added to his other Major wins – the 2011 US Open and 2012 USA PGA Championship.
The day was not without drama after McIlroy had a heckler ejected from the crowd for disrupting his game.
After taking a shot, McIlroy turned around and pointed out the offender to security.
He said: "He was giving me grief all day.
"Then he deliberately coughed on my downswing on the 16th tee, so not a great drive. But I heard it halfway down and I knew who it was.
"So I turned around and got him chucked out. I didn't have him bothering me for the last two holes, which was nice," McIlroy said.
McIlroy's focus will no doubt be firmly focused on Augusta National next April and could see him becoming one of only six players to have won all four Major titles.
Rory was not the only winner – his dad Gerry is set to enjoy a share of £180k after winning a 10-year bet.
Gerry and three friends each placed £100 on a 500/1 wager that Rory would win the Open before he turned 26.
Ladbrokes tweeted last night: "CONGRATULATIONS RORY: We're paying out 180k to Rory's Dad and pals. There'll be some party at the McIlroy's tonight!"
McIlroy may have landed the coveted Open title but the performances of Northern Ireland's Graeme McDowell and Darren Clarke also drew praise.
Portrush's McDowell finished joint ninth and Dungannon's Clarke was joint 26th at Hoylake, while the top 10 finish of Co Offaly's Shane Lowry was also being hailed.
On the same day, McIlroy's ex-fiancée Caroline Wozniacki also lifted the Istanbul Cup – the 22nd WTA title of her career.
Story so far
McIlroy was introduced to golf by his father Gerry aged two, and aged nine won the World 9/10-year-old Championship in Miami, Florida. Rory won the US Open, his first Major golf title, in 2011. That same year Rory and Danish tennis player Caroline Wozniacki met and later got engaged, but both their careers faltered and they broke up this year. In 2012 he won the PGA title, and in 2014 Rory wins the 143rd Open.