herald

Tuesday 14 August 2018

Boy wonder celebrates €30m pay day as he wins US Open

GOLF wonderboy Rory McIlroy toasts the US Open win which has netted him a €30m pay day. The 22-year-old is set to become Ireland's richest sports star after the stunning victory.

It landed him a cool €1m prize pot but sports insiders say he will be worth €30m by the end of the year in sponsorship and endorsements. His eight-shot win put to rest the ghosts of his Masters collapse nine weeks ago.

And experts are even predicting his net worth could break the h100m barrier within a few short years.

McIlroy had already amassed earnings of €2.65m since turning professional in 2007, €1.78m of that coming last year alone.

The prize money for last night's success was $1.44m (€1.01m).

According to industry experts, Rory's current endorsement earnings are approximately $10m per year.

This is expected to at least triple over the next few years bringing his earnings up to €30m. With sponsors now queuing up for his signature, the Holywood, Co Down star could push his earnings into the hundreds of millions if he can sustain his success.

But there was no one prouder at the Congressional Country Club in Washington DC last night than his dad Gerry, who has been with Rory every step of the way.

"This is hard to put into words," Gerry said. "And on Father's Day."

Asked what the future holds , he added: "He'll keep working, if I know Rory."

McIlroy set or equalled 12 new records on his march to glory, including a new record low score of 16 under par.

He was also the youngest player to come out on top at the notoriously difficult competition in nearly 90 years.

"A lot of joy and especially with this victory there is quite a bit of relief as well. I'm just very happy to win the US Open and to win it in a bit of style as well is always nice," McIlroy said afterward.

He admitted the victory has come earlier than he expected.

"If you had of asked me when I turned pro when I was 18 do you think you'll win a Major by the time you're 22, I would have said no. I'm surprised I have done it so early but it's a great thing for me. I can always call myself a Major champion now and I can go and focus on trying to get some more."

He paid tribute to the Golfing Union of Ireland.

"The help that they gave me throughout my junior career, my amateur career, enabled me to go and play in different places in the world, learn about different conditions, different cultures, which really prepared me for coming out on tour," he said.

McIlroy -- now the world No 4 -- said Irish golf was "in a very healthy state", with his win coming after fellow Ulsterman and close friend Graeme McDowell's victory in the same competition last year and Padraig Harrington's burst of three Majors in 2007 and 2008.

McDowell said McIlroy's name going on the trophy right after his own was "special".

"It's special for Irish golf, it's special for a small country like Northern Ireland and European golf. It's just amazing. I'm very proud of him," he said.

"Nothing surprises me -- he's that good. I've known that for a long time. He's the best player I've ever seen."

McIlroy finished a staggering eight shots ahead of playing partner YE Yang and woke up today a truly global superstar.

His victory was being likened to Tiger Woods' demolition of the field in the US Open 11 years ago when he won by 15 shots.

Speaking about the sacrifices his family have made for him, McIlroy said: "Mum and dad made huge sacrifices for me.

"They sacrificed summer holidays so they could bring me to play golf all around Ireland and in Europe and the US, yet they never pushed me at all. I wanted to go and do these things and they were very supportive. I'm very thankful to them for how far they've gotten me."

hnews@herald.ie

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