Belfast Telegraph

Monday 22 September 2014

Glory, glory Rory McIlroy wins first major with astonishing display at US Open

Rory McIlroy kisses the trophy after his eight-stroke victory on the 18th green during the 111th U.S. Open at Congressional Country Club on June 19, 2011 in Bethesda, Maryland
BETHESDA, MD - JUNE 19: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland poses with the trophy for photographers after his eight-stroke victory on the 18th green during the 111th U.S. Open at Congressional Country Club on June 19, 2011 in Bethesda, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
BETHESDA, MD - JUNE 19: Fans watch the play of Rory McIlroy during the final round of the 111th U.S. Open at Congressional Country Club on June 19, 2011 in Bethesda, Maryland. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Over three quarters of a million pounds richer in prize money today; millions of dollars more in endorsements guaranteed... and record-breaking US Open golf champion Rory McIlroy is insisting the achievement means much more than the money.

Over three quarters of a million pounds richer in prize money today; millions of dollars more in endorsements guaranteed... and insisting the achievement means much more than the money.

Typical Rory McIlroy.

The 22-year-old genius from Holywood in Co Down awoke this morning on the United States east coast as the new hottest property in world sport and still the down to earth lad with the air of easy, unaffected confidence that has played a big part in his success story.

If he slept well, it will have been on the back of his admission that he considered his lastest, astonishing feat beyond his wildest dreams.

“If you had asked me when I turned pro, when I was 18, do you think you’d win a major by the time you are 22, I would have said no,” he reflected.

“I would have liked to have been an established player on the European Tour, maybe with a couple of wins. But to contend in the majors how I have so early, I don’t really know what I can put it down to... if it’s just hard work and practice, or if I feel like I have just a little bit more focus or intensity for major weeks, I’m not too sure. I am surprised that I’ve done it so early, but it’s a great thing for me. I can always call myself a major champion now.”

Told he'd just banked another £1.44million dollars for his efforts, he added: “The truth is, I’m just happy with this trophy. It’s nice; we play for a lot of money week, in week out. We’re very fortunate we can do that. But the thing about these major championships is the history, the prestige and just to be able to add your name to a list like Ben Hogan, Jack Nicklaus, Tom Watson, Arnold Palmer... you know, that’s the most satisfying thing about it.”

Rory completed a record-breaking performance at the Congressional early this morning, finishing an incredible 16 under par to win by eight strokes.

His margin of victory is also the fourth-largest at the US Open and made him the youngest winner of the tournament since amateur legend Bobby Jones back in 1923.

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