Rory McIlroy, who until June 17 was seen as the new kid in town by the rest of his PGA peers, had something to prove. On the tour for a meager four years, only encompassing 35 tournament appearances, he was long in the tooth and far from reaching “elite player” status. On that day, and the days immediately after, McIlroy saw a glimpse of what his dreams had foretold.
He began by shattering the 13-under par record and, though it may have been enough for most, he continued onward, amassing over a dozen records in a single appearance at the U.S. Open. The young Irishman, who was brought up idolizing the game’s best and most talented professional golfing figures, was now one of them, citing comparisons to Tiger Woods and Gary Player, respectively.
Now, as he attempts to seize a firm grasp on the annals of PGA history, a look back at the short career of McIlroy proves to show a legacy, though still in its infancy, of consistent play and gutsy determination.
May 4, 1989: The day McIlroy was born in Hollywood, Northern Ireland.
$5,231,285: The amount of money McIlroy has won on the PGA Tour since turning pro in 2007. In the span of four years, McIlroy has played in 35 events.
$2,051,286: The amount of money McIlroy has won, as of the U.S. Open, in 2011.
$1,440,000: The cash prize McIlroy won at the U.S. Open.
203: McIlroy’s rank among PGA money earners. In 2011, he is ranked 20th, with just over $2 million in earnings.
71.25: The average score McIlroy has posted from 2007-2011. Known for his consistency, he has remained an even-keeled professional.
2: The number of majors won McIlroy has won in his career. Aside from his win at Congressional for the U.S. Open, his only other major win came at Quail Hollow in 2010.
3: His number of top 10 finishes since joining the PGA Tour in 2007.
0: The total number of FedEx Cup points earned.
303.1: McIlroy’s average driving distance off the tee. Although not well known for his drive power, McIlroy continues his consistent accuracy and distance.
198: His number of career eagles posted since 2007.
90: McIlroy’s number of career birdies posted since 2007.
4: The number of birdies in his final round of the U.S. Open.
2: The number of bogies in his final round of the U.S. Open.
22: McIlroy’s age upon winning his first U.S. open in 2011. He is the youngest U.S. Open winner in 88 years, since Bobby Jones won in 1923.
5: The number of tournaments in a row without an American-born winner. This is the longest drought in U.S. golfing history.
1: McIlroy’s rank in online web searches as of Monday, June 20. On the heels of his dramatic victory, the Internet was abuzz with keyword searches regarding his epic feat, career and childhood.
65, 66, 68, 69: Each of McIlroy’s round scores at the U.S. Open.
Jim Slater, AFP, Dominant McIlroy Cruises to US Open Title, Yahoo! News
Lawrence Donegan, US Open 2011: Remarkable Rory McIlroy wins by eight shots, UK Guardian
Player Profile, ESPN