U.S. Open Champ Rory McIlroy: 5 Things to Know
The 22-year-old Irish golf pro crushed the competition at this weekend's tournament.
Golf pro Rory McIlroy won his first major victory on Sunday at the 11th U.S. Open at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Md.
The precocious 22-year-old "didn't win the tournament as much as he commandeered it, twisting and shaping the Blue Course to his liking," according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
Here are five things to know about the golf champ:
-- He turned pro at age 18. McIlroy turned pro in 2007, with the British Masters his first subsequent event, according to Golf.com. He finished third, ensuring himself a place on the European Tour for the following season.
-- He's already in the record books. McIlroy scored his first U.S. PGA victory in 2010, just a few days shy of his 21st birthday, at the Quail Hollow Championship. He joined Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Seve Ballesteros as one of the only golfers since 1970 to win on the U.S. PGA tour before turning 21.
-- He's polite. “He’s very courteous, well-mannered and gives people time,” his lifelong teacher, Michael Bannon of the Bangor Gold Glub in Northern Ireland, told the Washington Post. Added McIlroy's agent Chubby Chandler, “He remembers to thank his Mom.”
-- He doesn't like to copy others. McIlroy learned his swing at age 8 and finished making changes by 14. At age 13, his teacher Bannon caught him trying to imitate fellow golf pro Woods. "Why don’t you just swing like Rory McIlroy," Bannon advised him.
-- He keeps in touch with his pre-fame friends. McIlroy still lives in the Northern Ireland village of Holywood, where he grew up, and dates a college student he's known since his school days. He owns a six-room house -- which does feature at least one splurge, a Ferrari.