Born on May 4, 1989, Rory McIlroy is an Irish golfer from County Down, Northern Ireland. He started playing golf young, with his father reportedly teaching him how to hold a club when he was 18 months old. By the time he was two years old, McIlroy was hitting 40-yard drives. At the age of 15, McIlroy was playing for the winning European Team for the 2004 Junior Ryder Cup. In 2005, he won the West of Ireland Championship and the Irish Close championship, the youngest player to ever win the two titles. Two years later in 2007, he topped the World Amateur Golf rankings and held the position for one week at the age of 17. Later that year, McIlroy turned pro and started playing on the European tour.
His first victory on the tour was in 2009 followed by another win a year later, this time at the PGA tour. McIlroy featured in the top ten of the Official World Golf Ranking and played for the European team in the Ryder Cup. A chance to win the Masters tournament in the early part of 2011 ended in a disappointing loss for McIlroy, who was the youngest player to take the lead in the first day of the competition. By Friday, he was ahead two strokes over Jason Day and continued his lead for the succeeding days. However, he started to falter in the final day, shooting the worst round in Masters history by scoring 1-over –par 37in the first nine, followed by a triple bogey on the 10th hole. A final round of 80 landed him at T15 at 4 under at the end of the tournament.
One of the youngest players on the tour, McIlroy made history when he bagged the US Open title in June 2011, his first major title. He bagged the title with a record score of 16-under-par to become the youngest US Open winner since Bobby Jones who won in 1923. At 22, McIlroy is touted as the next golf star and is expected to rake in millions in endorsements alone. His US Open victory moved the young Irish golfer a few notches up the world rankings to world number 4, giving him a great advantage over other golfers in the race to the remaining tournaments in the season.