Belfast Telegraph

Golf hero interested in just one currency

By Deric Henderson

Rory McIlroy is careful with his money - but his generosity is renowned.

He'll never be the one standing by the bar offering to buy a drink for everyone in sight. His largesse doesn't extend that far.

But you only have to listen to the likes of his friend Stephen Ferris, the former Ulster, Ireland and Lions forward, who this week revealed how kind Rory is when it comes to reaching for the credit card.

He has a tight circle of friends when he is back in Northern Ireland, based mainly in the greater Belfast and north Down areas. That sense of camaraderie means everything and there is very little loose talk, even when the drink is in.

His career earnings in Europe alone are close on £20m, but that's buttons compared to what he has banked elsewhere in the world, especially in the United States. And even that is chicken feed to his blue chip sponsorship arrangements. His 10-year deal with Nike is estimated at $250m (£165m).

His father Gerry and mother Rosie worked their fingers to the bone to provide for their son. So the work ethic is very much part of Rory's DNA. He didn't travel to the Open Championship this year after damaging his ligaments playing football with those very same pals who share so many of his confidences.

He stayed in Holywood to watch the action on TV while the boys headed for Scotland to enjoy the home comforts which had been arranged in advance for one of the greatest players in the world.

And it was Rory who picked up the tab.

He is fixed financially for the rest of his life and money doesn't matter a row of beans. His management team look after those affairs. This year might not have been one that he'll look back on with any degree of satisfaction.

There were no new Major titles and that has been a huge disappointment. It's been the lack of silverware that has irked him. That's the only currency he's interested in.

  • Deric Henderson is the former Ireland editor of the Press Association. He now runs a media consultancy business in Belfast - Deric Henderson Media

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