Belfast Telegraph

Friday 19 September 2014

The Punter: McIlroy now a good bet to land a Major

Rory McIlroy has had a birthday week he will never forget.

Twenty-one on the same day (May 4) as Tony McCoy reached 36, he now has the golfing world at his feet following that tremendous win at Quail Hollow and he is now as short as 14-1 to win the US Open next month.

A sensational 10-under par in his final round, saw him land his first win on the American PGA circuit and already in the States he is being hailed to take over as world number one from Tiger Woods.

That’s a ‘big spake’ as they say, but if anyone can do it, it’s surely Rory who has the temperament and the game to eventually be up there with the very best.

It has been a remarkable turnaround in form for the Holywood star after missing the cut in the Masters and talking of taking a break from the game.

That change of mind to stay on the American tour has proved to be the right decision and his spell of not having a top 10 finish since February, was firmly laid to rest.

McIlroy who produced perfect golf on what is deemed a testing course, was 66-1 at the outset and matched at one point at 1,000 on Betfair while Woods started 7-2 before missing the cut by eight shots.

Unbelievably, Rory just avoided that by one stroke before unleashing that dream final round of 62.

The second youngest after Tiger to win on the US Tour, McIlroy has been slashed to 7-1 for a Major success this year with Coral but only 5-1 with Paddy Power while he’s 16-1 to lift the Claret Jug at St Andrews in July.

Rory is up to second in the European Ryder Cup points list and along with Lee Westwood, Ian Poulter and Padraig Harrington, will have no problems regarding selection while giving captain Colin Montgomerie every confidence of success at Celtic Manor in September.

McIlroy’s breakthrough in the States and the prospect of more success to come, has thrust him into the picture for the BBC Sports Personality of the Year and he has been cut from 33-1 to 25s.

McCoy’s victory in the Grand National, gave him a massive boost and now we could have two Ulstermen vying for that award.

McCoy is 7-2 joint-favourite with Wayne Rooney whose performances in the World Cup will have a major bearing on his chances.

If England win the World Cup and Roo scores in the final, then it will be a case of looking no further.

Rory would then need to win the Open at St Andrews to have any prospect of outdoing Wayne in the public vote.

Paddy Power McIlroy specials: 5-1 to win a Major in 2010; 4-1 to win a Major in 2011; 9-1 to win Irish Open; 9-2 to be top European points scorer in Ryder Cup; 15-1 top overall points scorer at Ryder Cup; 12-1 to hole winning putt at Ryder Cup.

BBC Sports Personality of the Year: 7-2 Wayne Rooney, tony McCoy; 9-2 Andy Murry; 8-1 David Haye; ; 9-1 Jenson Button; 11-1 Lewis Hamilton; 12-1 Lee Westwood; Amy Williams; 20-1 Steven Gerrard; 22-1 Frank Lampard; 25-1 Rory McIlroy.

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