herald

Wednesday 17 July 2019

Rory devotes win to proud parents who sacrificed so much to give him success

Rory's staggering success is no overnight fairytale for the McIlroy family.

His parents Gerry and Rosie worked every hour they could in a bid to give their son access to adequate golf tuition.

At one stage dedicated dad Gerry worked three jobs totalling 100 hours a week to raise enough cash to feed his son's prodigal talent.







BARTENDER

Gerry would arrive at the local sports club in Holywood at 8am, where he would clean toilets and showers until noon, after which, he would head to the Holywood Golf Club and work to 6pm as a bartender.

Taking just a one-hour break, Gerry would then return to the golf club to work behind the bar from 7pm to midnight, at which stage his wife Rosie left to work the night shift at a factory where she put rolls of tape into boxes.

Only child Rory, who got his first set of golf club at just 18 months, was born with a passion for the game.

Rosie admitted that her son's first love has always been golf. "He was holding a golf club before he could walk," she said. "He'd be sitting in the pram with a plastic golf club in his hand. That's the way we were woken up in the morning, banged over the head with a plastic golf club."

At two years old, he was hitting 40-yard drives, and by the age of nine he won the Under 10 World Championship at Doral in Florida.

At 11, he shot level par at his home club in Holywood, and then two years later, he was a scratch golfer.

By the age of 15, he had smashed the course record at Royal Portrush with a 61. He turned pro in 2007 aged 18.

And Rory, who earned €1m for yesterday's victory, thanked his parents for their sacrifice throughout the years.

"If it wasn't for my mum and dad sacrificing so much, I probably wouldn't be sitting up here," he said afterwards.

cmcbride@herald.ie

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