Rest of 2014
After a week off following his Open victory, McIlroy won his first World Golf Championship event at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone and returned to world number one. Starting the final day three shots behind Sergio García, McIlroy shot a 66 to finish on 15 under par and two strokes clear. The following week, he won the PGA Championship at Valhalla for his fourth major, one shot ahead of runner-up Phil Mickelson. After his victory Jack Nicklaus said: “Rory is an unbelievable talent. I think Rory has an opportunity to win 15 or 20 majors or whatever he wants to do if he wants to keep playing. I love his swing, I love his rhythm, I love his moxie. He’s got a little swagger there, it’s a little bit cocky but not offensive.”
Rory McIlroy, MBE (born 4 May 1989) is a Northern Irish professional golfer from Holywood in County Down who is a member of both the European and PGA Tours. He is the current World Number One and a four-time major champion.
McIlroy won his first major at age 22 at the U.S. Open in 2011, setting a record score of 16-under-par on his way to an eight-stroke victory. The following year he won the 2012 PGA Championship at Kiawah Island by a record eight strokes for his second major title. Two years later, he won the final two majors in 2014. With his victory at the Open Championship in July, McIlroy became the first European to win three different majors, and joined Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods as one of three to win three majors by the age of 25. Three weeks later, he won his second PGA Championship for his fourth major title.
McIlroy has represented Europe, Great Britain, and Ireland as both an amateur and a professional. He had a successful amateur career, topping the World Amateur Golf Ranking for one week as a 17-year-old in 2007. Later that year he turned professional and soon established himself on the European Tour. He had his first win on the European Tour in 2009, and on the PGA Tour in 2010. He represented Europe at the Ryder Cup in 2010 and 2012, both close victories for Europe. In 2011 at the age of 22, he became the youngest player ever to reach €10 million in career earnings on the European Tour. In 2012, he became the youngest player to reach $10 million in career earnings on the PGA Tour.
SportsPro has McIlroy rated as the third-most marketable athlete in the world. In January 2013 he signed a large endorsement deal with Nike, with wide speculation on its terms. As time passed, initial rumours of a 10-year/$250 million accord ratcheted down to a more likely $100 million deal of an undetermined length.