Rory McIlroy: Biography of Ireland's Best Golfer

Profile of the famous golfer, with facts, figures and trivia

Rory McIlroy
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Rory McIlroy began turning heads in his mid-teens, turned pro before age 20, and then turned into a major force on the world golf stage. Although still in the relatively early part of his pro golf career, McIlroy already rates as the all-time best golfer from Ireland.

McIlroy was born in Holywood, Northern Ireland, near Holywood Golf Club and not too far from Royal Belfast Golf Club. His date of birth is May 4, 1989. Does he have a nickname among his peers on the pro golf tours? Many call him "Rors." In April 2017, McIlroy married Erica Stoll, a former PGA of America official.

McIlroy's Pro Tour Wins

  • PGA Tour: 18
  • European Tour: 13

(All of McIlroy's PGA Tour and European Tour victories are listed below.)

  • Major Championships: 4

McIlroy won his first major at the 2011 U.S. Open. The 2012 PGA Championship followed, then the 2014 British Open and a second PGA Championship also in 2014.

Awards and Honors for Rory McIlroy

  • PGA Tour Player of the Year, 2012, 2014
  • PGA Tour money leader, 2012, 2014
  • PGA Tour scoring leader, 2012, 2014, 2019
  • European Tour Player of the Year, 2012, 2014, 2015
  • European Tour Order of Merit winner, 2012, 2014, 2015
  • Member, European Ryder Cup team, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2016, 2018
  • Member, Great Britain & Ireland Walker Cup team, 2007

Biography of Rory McIlroy

According to Rory McIlory's official bio, he hit a 40-yard drive when he was two years old. It was all up from there. His first hole-in-one happened at age nine.

As a youth in Northern Ireland, McIlroy worked on his game with Holywood Golf Club pro Michael Bannon. And things happened quickly for McIlroy in his teens. He played for Europe in the 2004 Junior Ryder Cup. In 2005, he became the youngest-ever winner of the West of Ireland Championship and of the Irish Close Championships. And in 2006 he repeated as champion in both.

McIlroy played in his first pro tournament at the 2005 British Masters, as a 16-year-old. In 2006, he won the European Amateur Championship. But 2007 is when McIlroy started to come to the attention of the worldwide golf audience.

That year, he reached No. 1 in the world amateur rankings and played on the GB&I team in the Walker Cup. It was what he was doing in pro tournaments, however, that turned heads. McIlroy made his first cut in a pro tournament at the 2007 Dubai Desert Classic, at age 17. A couple months later, after turning 18, he was among the first-round leaders at the British Open. He made the cut and finished as low amateur.

McIlroy turned pro on Sept. 18, 2007, and his first event as a pro was the British Masters. In his second tournament, the Dunhill Links Championship, McIlroy finished third, ensuring himself a place on the European Tour for the following season.

In 2009, McIlroy, age 20, earned his first win on the European Tour at the Dubai Desert Classic. And at the 2010 Quail Hollow Championship, McIlroy closed with a 62 for his first USPGA victory. He was a few days shy of his 21st birthday, and he joined Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Seve Ballesteros as the only golfers, at that time, since 1970 to win on the USPGA before turning 21.

McIlroy appeared on his way to his first major championship victory at the 2011 Masters, taking a four-stroke lead into the final round. However, he suffered a major meltdown in the final round, carding an 80 and falling outside the Top 10.

He didn't have to wait long to pick up that first major win, though. A couple months later at the 2011 U.S. Open, McIlroy turned in one of the most dominating performances in major championship history, shattering the tournament scoring record and winning by eight strokes.

In March 2012, McIlroy first reached No. 1 in the world golf rankings when he won the PGA Tour Honda Classic. Several months later, McIlroy collected major title No. 2, winning the 2012 PGA Championship. At the PGA, McIlroy set a new tournament record for margin of victory, winning by eight strokes.

McIlroy closed the 2012 tour season by winning the European Tour's season-ender, the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai. He was No. 1 in the world rankings, and led both the PGA Tour and European Tour in earnings.

McIlroy endured some struggles in 2013, however, failing to win anywhere until claiming the Australian Open near the end of the year. In 2014, he claimed the prestigious BMW PGA Championship for his first European Tour victory since 2012. Later in 2014, McIlroy won his third major at the Open Championship. He followed that up with a WGC victory in his next, and in his next start after that, the PGA Championship, for three consecutive victories at the end of the 2014 season.

McIroy earned his first FedEx Cup championship in 2016. After going winless throughout the PGA Tour's "regular season," he won two of the playoff tournaments, including the season-finale Tour Championship.

In 2019, he won three times on the PGA Tour, won the FedEx Cup championship, and claimed the trophy for low season scoring average.

Rory McIlroy's Tournament Wins

Here is the list of golf tournaments won by McIlroy on the PGA Tour and European Tour.

PGA Tour

  • 2010 Quail Hollow Championship
  • 2011 U.S. Open
  • 2012 Honda Classic
  • 2012 PGA Championship
  • 2012 Deutsche Bank Championship
  • 2012 BMW Championship
  • 2014 British Open
  • 2014 WGC Bridgestone Invitational
  • 2014 PGA Championship
  • 2015 WGC Match Play Championship
  • 2015 Wells Fargo Championship
  • 2016 Deutsche Bank Championship
  • 2016 Tour Championship
  • 2018 Arnold Palmer Invitational
  • 2019 Players Championship
  • 2019 Canadian Open
  • 2019 Tour Championship
  • 2019 WGC HSBC Champions

European Tour

(Note that Mcllroy's wins in the majors and in WGC tournaments count as wins on both the USPGA and European tours. The following tournaments are those that count only on the European Tour.)

  • 2009 Dubai Desert Classic
  • 2011 Hong Kong Open
  • 2012 DP World Tour Championship
  • 2014 BMW PGA Championship
  • 2015 Dubai Desert Classic
  • 2015 DP World Tour Championship Dubai
  • 2016 Dubai Duty Free Irish Open