Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 December 2014

Rory McIlroy chases $10m

NORTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 03: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland reacts after winning the Deutsche Bank Championship at TPC Boston on September 3, 2012 in Norton, Massachusetts. (Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)

Megabucks Rory McIlroy postponed a $1.44m victory party as he pursues a mind-blowing $10m end of season bonus.

The staggering amount is within touching distance for the Holywood star as he tops the US PGA money list with just two tournaments remaining and he is determined not to let it slip through his fingers.

“There's a time and a place to celebrate and to enjoy what you've done, and going into the playoffs isn't it,'' said Rory after his sensational win in the Deutsche Bank Championship in Boston on Monday night earned him another cool £1m.

“This run that we're on, we just have to keep thinking about the next week, and once Ryder Cup is over, for sure I'll think back and I'll celebrate and I'll enjoy the great golf that I've played recently.''

Rory is now favourite to take that $10m (£6m) morale boost into the Ryder Cup after his sensational Boston win.

The victory reinforced his World No.1 position and took him to the top of the US PGA FedEx Cup rankings with $6.4m (£4m) earnings in the States this year and the first prize is within his reach when it is settled at the Tour Championship in Atlanta on September 20-23, the weekend before Europe and the US do battle at Medinah.

Those riches and three US Tour wins, including of course the US PGA Championship, fully vindicate his decision to base himself Stateside a year ago, although McIlroy also tops the European money list with £2.2m.

He's also now on course to become Northern Ireland's richest-ever sports star, overtaking F1's Eddie Irvine.

Still only 23, Rory's massive £13m career earnings are boosted by sponsorship endorsements, including a multi-million deal with Santander bank.

Rory still has a way to go to catch rival Tiger Woods whose third place in Boston made him the first $100m man on the PGA Tour.

Prodigal superstar star Woods has earned $100,350,700; next on the list is Phil Mickelson, more than $30 million behind at $66,805,498 after finishing fourth at the Deutsche Bank.

The champagne stayed on ice after Rory's win, showing he has learned, too, from the dip in form that followed his week-long party and time-out after his breakthrough US Open win last year.

''I had a lot going on at that time and probably didn't handle it the best,'' he admitted.

''I've now learned how to handle winning big events and carrying myself forward and not dwelling on what's happened.''

Rory was also backed by the player he hunted down for his one stroke victory in Boston.

South African Louis Oosthuizen led by three strokes heading into the final day and graciously said: ''Rory is a great young talent with a lot of majors left for him to win.

“He's such a cool kid on the course. It's great playing with him. He makes tough shots look really easy sometimes.''

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