The 2014 British Open Golf Championship at Royal Liverpool Golf Course in Hoylake, England had a rich finish to it. Northern Ireland’s hero, Rory McIlroy, finished at 17 under-par, beating Sergio Garcia and Rickie Fowler by two-strokes.
McIlroy kissed the Claret Jug for the first time after making par on the 18th to become the victor of the 143rd Open Championship, his third major championship win.
Now only The Masters awaits in his future endeavors. The group that has won all four Majors is only a list of 5 names long. Those golf legends are Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods, Ben Hogan, Gary Player and Gene Sarazen. Rory hopes to join that list soon and his first chance will come in April at Augusta, when he will still be 25 years old. McIlroy said:
“I never dreamed of being at this point in my career so quickly. Golf is looking for someone to put their hand up and try, (…) I want to be that person. I want to be the guy that goes on and wins majors and wins majors regularly, wins tournaments. I’d love to be in that position. I’m looking forward to next April and driving down Magnolia Lane and trying to complete the career Grand Slam.” According to The Washington Post “he has but one top-10 finish in six trips to the Masters, but he did lead after each of the first three rounds in 2011.”
Nothing but smiles showed on the faces of Rory’s friends and fans as they watched him finish out the tournament with remarkable play. An amazing feeling for the young golfer, although the greatest grin appeared on the face of Rory’s father, Gerry McIlroy, who believed his son could do it 10 years ago and his bet paid off.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution said “parents who believe their child is the next great sports prodigy” should take their chances. I have to agree, especially in hindsight and with odds like McIlroy’s. Don’t just cheer on your kids from the sidelines but rather put your money where your mouth is and bet on your son or daughter, early on. Mr. McIlroy did just that when he wagered 200 pounds in 2004 at 500/1 for his son to win the British Open by 2015. McIlroy was about 15-years old when his dad placed the bet that had to be achieved within 10 years time, before his son turned 26.
Confidence built in McIlroy as the years went by and he began his rise to the top in the golfing world. He attitude about golf went as the following:
“I’ve really found my passion again for golf. Not that it ever dwindled, but it’s what I think about when I get up in the morning. It’s what I think about when I go to bed.”
His father’s friend joined in quickly behind on the bet, each risking 200 pounds at 250/1 odds for Rory to win by 2015 and another bet of 200 pounds at 150/1 odds for McIlroy to win before age 50. Their confidence in Rory paid off. McIlroy said:
“Honestly, that 50 grand [pounds] that he’s going to win is way — I mean, the other three friends that he did that with, they’re going to be very happy,”. “He’s never reminded me. I knew that he’d done it. I’m not sure if it will pay out. If it does, it’s a nice little bonus.”
According to the betting firm Ladbrokes, “McIlroy’s father holds a winning ticket for $171,000.” His pals will win a total of $136,700 for the other two bets placed. “As for the star golfer, the prize money for the British Open championship is $1,665,933.”