Rory McIlroy Biography 2024 - Professional golfer

Rory McIlroy Biography - Professional golfer

Rory McIlroy after his club swing. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

Rory McIlroy, a Northern Irish Professional golfer, is a former world no.1, spending more than 100 weeks as the number-one ranked professional golfer as indexed by Official World Golf Ranking. McIlroy won four major championships at the age of 25, which was achieved only two times in the history of golf by Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods. Additionally, he has won various prestigious awards and is considered one of the greatest golfers of all time.

Popularly known by his nickname ‘Rors,’ which is also stamped on his custom-made golf ball, Rory McIlroy is a well-known golfer among golf lovers all around the world. From a toddler with a golf club mimicking his father’s swing to lifting golf’s most reputed awards, the famous golfer’s life is awe-inspiring and glorious. Let’s learn about Rory McIlroy’s biography.

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Early Life and Education

Rory McIlroy was born in Holywood, County Down, Northern Ireland, on 4th May 1989 to his parents, Rosie McDonald and Gerry McIlroy. For academics, he did his primary education at St. Patrick’s Primary School and then attended Sullivan Upper School.

Rory McIlroy with his father Gerry McIlroy.

Gerry helped his son Rory to learn basics of golf during his childhood. Source: Rory McIlroy's Facebook.

McIlroy was introduced to golf at an early age by his father, Gerry McIlroy, also a fine golfer. Obsessed by the art of golfing, young McIlroy insisted on visiting Hollywood Golf Club almost every day. The enthusiastic little boy was in desperate need of a professional coach to guide him in the right direction. Seeing his boy’s passion, Gerry called the club’s then-professional, Michael Bannon, for his guidance. Nobody thought that Michael was about to coach a future golf superstar. Today, more than 20 years on, Bannon is still the coach as well as a mentor of the golfing legend, Rory McIlroy. 

Rory McIlroy started his swing from early childhood.

Rory McIlroy was the youngest member of Holywood Golf Club. Source: Rory McIlroy's Official Website.

At the age of seven, McIlroy joined Holywood Golf Club as its youngest member. It is reported that Rory’s parents held multiple jobs to earn additional income to fund their son’s golf training. He then began putting hours on training until his hands could no longer feel the club. He was soon pronounced as a child prodigy or ‘golf’s next big thing’ at just nine years of age when he won the under-10 World Championship, his first international title, in Doral, Florida.


Rory McIlroy started his amateur career with many silverwares and recognition from his pre-teen years. He was a member of Europe’s Junior Ryder Cup Team, winning the title in 2004 in Ohio. At the age of 16, Rory shot an 11-under-par 61 at Royal Portrush in the Magners North of Ireland Championship in 2005. He also took part in the 2005 British Masters. In the same year, Rory became the youngest champion of the West of Ireland Championship and the Irish Close Championship, followed by the European Amateur title at Biella Golf Club in Milan, Italy, in 2006.

In 2007, McIlroy entered his first major championship competition at Open Championship held in Carnoustie, Scotland. He became the highest finishing amateur and won a silver medal in the competition. On 6th February 2007, he secured a top spot in Amateur World Golf Rankings. As a member of Great Britain and Ireland team, he also participated in the 2007 Walker Cup held in Royal County Down. 

McIlroy's Professional Career

In 2007, after splitting with his then-agent Chubby Chandler, the Northern Irishman signed with International Sports Management. At the age of 18, Rory started his career as a professional golfer and graduated to the European Tour on 18 September 2007. His first ever club swing in a professional tournament was at the Quinn Direct British Masters, where he shot 290(+2), putting him in a tie in 42nd place. The same year, he finished 3rd at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship and earned a tour card, becoming the youngest member in the history of The European Tour, finishing 4th place at the Open de Madrid Valle Romano.

At the end of his season, Rory was invited by Tiger Woods to have a swing at the 2007 Target World Challenge and 2008 AT&T National. Despite the call from such a huge personality, he declined the invitation sticking rigidly to his European plans next year. 

In 2008, McIlroy started his European Tour finishing 2nd place at the 2008 UBS Hong Kong Open. In the same year, he entered the Top 200 in the Official World Golf Ranking for the first time and ranked 79th later that year. McIlroy failed to become the European Tour’s third-youngest winner when he lost to the Frenchman Jean-François Lucquin at Omega European Masters in Switzerland.

Rory McIlroy with his father and mother

Rory McIlroy with his first European trophy on Dubai Desert Classic. Source: Rory McIlroy's Official Website

McIlroy has had a charismatic professional career with 28 professional wins, winning 4 major championships and securing 4th place in Masters Tournament. Rory has won 18 times in his PGA Tour career. He has one Players Championships, three World Golf Championships, five FedEx Cup playoffs events, and five other PGA Tour titles to his name. Due to his achievements, Rory has been hailed as a legend on PGA Tour.

Similarly, he has also found immense success in the European Tours. With fourteen wins to his name, he has won four major championships, three World Golf Championships, one BMW PGA Championships, two Tour C’ships/Race to Dubai finals series, and four other European Tour titles.

In addition, he has registered one win on the Asian Tour and one win on the PGA Tour of Australasia. 

Want to know in more detail about Rory McIlroy’s career highlights? Here you go:

Tour Year Tournament Winning Score To par
PGA Tour 2010

Quail Hollow Championship

273 -15
2011 U.S. Open 268 -16
2012 The Honda Classic 268 -12
2012  PGA Championship 275


2012 Deutsche Bank Championship 264 -20
2012 BMW Championship 268 -20
2014 The Open Championship 271 -17
2014 WGC - Bridgestone Invitational 265 -15
2014 PGA Championship (2) 268 -16
2015 WGC-Cadillac Match Play   4 & 2  
2015 Wells Fargo Championship (2) 267 -21
2016 Deutsche Bank Championship 269 -12
2016 Tour Championship 268 -12
2018 Arnold Palmer Invitational  270 -18
2019 The Players Championship 272 -16
2019  RBC Canadian Open  258 -22
2019  Tour Championship (2) 267 -18
2019 WGC-HSBC Champions  269 -19
European Tour 2009 Dubai Desert Classic  269 -19
2011 U.S. Open  268 -16
2011 UBS Hong Kong Open 268


2012 PGA Championship 275  -13
2012 DP World Tour Championship. Dubai 265 -23
2012 BMW PGA Championship 274 -14
2014 The Open Championship 271 -17
2014 WGC - Bridgestone Invitational 265 -15
2014 PGA Championship (2) 268 -16
2015 Omega Dubai Desert Classic (2) 266 -22
2015 WGC-Cadillac Match Play  4 & 2  
2015 DP World Tour Championship, Dubai (2) 267 -21
2016 Dubai Duty Free Irish Open 276 -12
2019 WGC-HSBC Champions 269 -19
PGA Tour of Australasia 2013 Emirates Australian Open  270 -18
Others 2011 Lake Malaren Shanghai Masters 270 -18
2020 Dustin Johnson     

Having such honorable victories as a professional golfer is certainly a huge achievement. Furthermore, he has won trophies in Major Championships too. 

Year Championship  Winning Score
2011 U.S. Open  268
2012 PGA Championship 275
2014 The Open Championship 271
2014 PGA Championship (2) 268

Although he has won four major championship titles, he is yet to win Masters Tournament, which could be another milestone in his career. Currently, he is in an ongoing PGA Tour and European Tour. 

Awards and Achievements 

Being a legendary golfer, Rory McIlroy has won several awards and medals, reaching milestones year after year. Rory McIlroy is rewarded with the PGA Tour Player of the Year (2012, 2014, 2019), PGA Player of the Year (2012, 2014), Vardon Trophy (2012, 2014, 2019), and Byron Nelson Award (2012, 2014, 2019). Voted as European Tour Golfer of the Year in 2012, 2014, and 2015, McIlroy also won Mark H. McCormack Award (2012, 2014, 2015) for leading the Official World Golf Ranking for 28 weeks. In addition, he won Laureus World Sports Award in 2012 among the category: Breakthrough of the Year.

Rory McIlroy with his recent trophy.

Rory McIlroy won his third world golf championship in 2019. Source: Rory McIlroy's Instagram.

Furthermore, he has also been a FedEx Cup Champion in 2016 and 2019. Rory McIlroy became the first European to win three World Golf Championship Titles.

Rory McIlroy's Caddie

The former world number one has been pairing with great caddies since his professional career started. Shortly after Rory's professional debut, he paired up with JP Fitzgerald in 2008, who helped him win all of his four major championships and grabbing the top spot at Official Golf Ranking. During his final years with the McIlroy, Fitzgerald banked an estimated amount of $1.65 million in PGA Tour as reported by Forbes. Although Fitzgerald was Rory's caddie for almost a decade, unfortunately, they had to part ways with each other in late 2017. "I was getting hard on him," Rory cited as they parted ways on good terms, reported ESPN.

In August 2017, Rory McIlroy appointed his childhood friend Harry Diamond as his caddie. Both Irishmen have an applaudable history on the golfing field. Since Diamond caddied McIlroy, they have been working on their next championships. Diamond was also seen in the role of the best man at McIlroy's wedding in 2008, as reported by Belfast Telegraph.


Even though Rory McIlroy has been named one of the best in golf’s history, his life has also been surrounded by controversies. Whether it is by defining the Ryder Cup as an “exhibition” or writing “shut up, failed golfer” to commentator Jay Townsend on his criticism about McIlroy’s course management skills during Irish Open, Rory's controversial remarks have always fueled a hot debate in the news. Later, McIlroy stated that his comments were made in defense of his then-caddie JP Fitzgerald, whom Townsend had been blaming for McIlroy’s mismanagement since 2008.

In 2013, when McIlroy was world number one, he withdrew from the prestigious 2013 Honda Classic. His main reason for the withdrawal was tooth-pain. Similarly, in March 2015, Rory aggressively threw his club into the water right after hitting his ball during WGC-Cadillac Championship. Like many other sports personalities, Rory McIlroy also has tons of controversy surrounding him. However, his personal achievements have overshadowed his controversies.

Rory McIlroy Net Worth And Earnings

Being such a high-profile sportsperson, Rory McIlroy’s net worth mostly comes from his career earnings and endorsements.

According to Celebrity Net Worth, Rory McIlroy has a fortune of $150 million. Being a part of an elite club, Rory has won several individuals as well as collective championships and majors by the age of 25. Since joining as a professional golfer in 2007, people speculating about McIlroy’s wealth is an ongoing trend. 

Rory McIlroy’s earnings mostly come from the prize money as a championship winner and brand endorsements. It is reported that his total career earnings add up to $34 million so far. In 2012, he earned more than $10 million on the PGA Tour alone.

In 2013, there was a rumor about him signing an endorsement deal worth $100 million to $200 million with Nike. Shortly after, McIlroy secured another deal with TaylorMade, which was valued at $100 million, to endorse his golf equipment. In addition, he won a $10 million bonus pool on FedEx Cup in 2016, and again after three years apart, he won the cup and was rewarded with the record-breaking prize money of $15 Million.

Since then, he has been earning millions of dollars from his salaries and endorsements as well. It is reported that McIlroy earned up to $80 through his income sources from 2017 to 2019. He was Forbes’s 6th-highest-paid athlete in the world in 2017, and now he stands at the 14th highest-paid-athlete ranking.

Furthermore, McIlroy has even created a company, Rory McIlroy Inc., headed by Donal Casey, which manages the royalty payments from his diverse endorsements, and that also adds up to his assets. 

According to PGA Tour’s Official website, Rory McIlroy has collected a sum of $54,319,550 from its tournament. European Tour confirms that he has won career money of around $44,297,232.58 (36,630,625.76) from its tournaments. 

Furthermore, having sponsorship deals with brands like Nike, Omega, Taylormade, UnitedHealth Group, and Upper Deck has also helped increase Rory McIlroy's net worth and wealth. 

Wife and Children

Rory McIlroy has been in two relationships before marrying his wife, Erica Stoll. He was first in a relationship with Holly Sweeney, whom he dated from 2003 to 2011. Shortly after his breakup with Sweeney, he started dating Caroline Wozniacki, a famous tennis player, from 2011 to 2014. They even got engaged on 21 May 2014, but sadly their relationship did not work. According to Bleacher Report, McIlroy ended their relationship with a 3-minute phone call

Rory McIlroy is married to former American PGA employee Erica Stoll. The couple were in love and got engaged in December 2015 and finally got hitched in April 2017 in a lavish ceremony held at Ashford Castle in Cong, County Mayo. Since then, the pair have been living happily together.

Rory McIlroy has one daughter from his marriage to Erica.

Rory McIlroy with his wife Erica Stoll at Ashford Castle. Source: Rory McIlroy's Instagram.

On September 3, 2020, the McIlroy couple finally announced the birth of their first child on Twitter. Rory McIlroy's daughter, Poppy Kennedy McIlroy, was born on August 31, 2020, at 12:15 p.m. The former world champion has been great as a professional golfer, but now he also needs to be a great dad. 

Trivia and Facts 

  • Rory was raised as Roman Catholic.
  • The famous golfer is also an Ambassador for UNICEF Ireland as well as for PGA Junior League Golf.
  • He is fond of soccer and is a fan of Manchester United and the Northern Ireland National Team.
  • Rory has nicknames: 'Rors' and 'Wee-Mac.'
  • He uses a Nike golf ball in which his nickname 'Rors' has been carved.

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