CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Thirty-two moments – memorable, controversial and in any other case – to rejoice Rory McIlroy’s 32nd birthday on Tuesday.
McIlroy has eight profession victories on the European Tour – not together with WGC occasions or his PGA Championships, however together with common European Tour occasions and his Open title – along with his first coming on the tender age of 19 on the ’09 Dubai Desert Classic, the place he held off Justin Rose. “I just want to keep getting better and better,” he mentioned on the time.
His skilled profession began properly earlier than his breakthrough in 2010 at Quail Hollow Club, however his first PGA Tour victory was memorable for a lot of causes, together with his course-document 62 on Sunday for a 4-stroke victory on the Wells Fargo.
Two days after that preliminary Tour victory, McIlroy celebrates his 21st birthday with a bunch of associates, together with Rickie Fowler and Padraig Harrington, in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. “Had a few drinks and had a bit of dinner. Had a good time. It was good,” he says, earlier than lacking the lower at that week’s Players Championship.
With one of the spectacular collapses in Masters historical past, McIlroy begins the ultimate spherical in 2011 main by 4 pictures however implodes with an 80 to complete tied for 15th place. “I’ll have plenty more chances. I know that. It’s very disappointing what happened today. Hopefully it’ll build a little bit of character in me, as well,” says McIlroy, who stays winless at Augusta National.
Making essentially the most of a gentle Congressional format, he romps to his first main title by an eight-stroke margin on the 2011 U.S. Open, his first main begin after the Masters meltdown.
After struggling on the weekend at Royal St. George’s (74-73), website of the 2011 Open, the Northern Irishman tells the media afterward that he’s “not a fan of golf tournaments that are predicted so much by weather.”
He shoots 4 rounds within the 60s to win the 2012 Honda Classic by two strokes. The subsequent day he strikes to No. 1 on the planet rating for the primary time in his profession.
In what could also be his most dominant main efficiency – much more so than at Congressional – McIlroy wins the ’12 PGA Championship at Kiawah Island by eight strokes, which features a spherical-of-the-week 66 on Sunday.
Back-to-again playoff victories on the ’12 Deutsche Bank Championship and BMW Championship full his greatest season on Tour, though he doesn’t win the FedExCup, following a tie for 10th on the Tour Championship.
Following a time-zone combine up, he arrives simply in time for his Sunday singles match on the 2012 Ryder Cup with the assistance of a police escort. He wins his match and helps the European crew full a historic comeback at Medinah.
After strolling off the golf course halfway by his second spherical at that 2013 Honda Classic with “tooth pain,” he later says it was a mistake and apologizes to event officers.
He endures his first droop as an expert in 2013 with no Tour victories and only a single high-3 end. He additionally fails to advance to the season finale at East Lake.
An emotional victory at Royal Liverpool on the ’14 Open Championship ends his winless drought on Tour and strikes him to inside a Masters inexperienced jacket of the profession Grand Slam.
McIlroy follows his Open Championship victory with a dominant run to shut the season with victories on the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational and PGA Championship; he’s 31 beneath par over these two weeks. Despite a runner-up exhibiting on the Tour Championship, he once more comes up brief within the season-lengthy race.
Frustration boils over throughout the second spherical of the ’15 World Golf Championship at Doral and McIlroy flings his 3-iron right into a lake. Donald Trump, who owns Doral, has the membership fished from the lake and returns it to McIlroy. “Felt good at the time,” he says of the membership toss.
Although he has tickets to the Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao title bout in Las Vegas, McIlroy stays in San Francisco for the weekend and wins the ’15 WGC-Match Play. Two weeks later, he provides his second title at Quail Hollow.
Per week earlier than the ’15 Open at St. Andrews, he injures his left ankle enjoying soccer in his yard. He misses the occasion and drops out of the highest spot on the planet rating.
In February ’16, McIlroy seems to answer criticism from Golf Channel’s Brandel Chamblee with a social media publish from considered one of his fitness center periods. “I don’t know the full extent of what he’s doing, but when I see the things he’s doing in the gym, I think of what happened to Tiger Woods,” Chamblee says.
After a season crammed with close to-misses (eight high-10 finishes in 15 begins), McIlroy closes sturdy with a victory on the ’16 Deutsche Bank Championship and he lastly breaks by at East Lake to win the FedExCup, following a playoff victory over Kevin Chappell and Ryan Moore.
In what was extensively billed as an immediate traditional, McIlroy goes head-to-head with Patrick Reed on the ’16 Ryder Cup. Although Reed wins the singles match, 1 up, it’s thought of one of the emotionally charged bouts within the historical past of the matches.
Despite a torrid begin to the season (4 high-10s by his first 5 begins of 2016-17), McIlroy is winless for simply the second time in his Tour profession.
If ’17 was a wash professionally, McIlroy did get pleasure from a private triumph when he marries Erica Stoll in April at Ashford Castle in Ireland.
Another drought buster arrives in 2018 at Bay Hill, the place McIlroy closes with a 64 for a 3-stroke victory at Arnie’s Place.
Thanks to a ball-putting masterpiece, McIlroy wins the ’19 Players Championship. For the week, he picks up 6.48 pictures on the sector in strokes gained: strategy pictures and 5.3 pictures in strokes gained: off the tee.
Despite a complicated new scoring format on the Tour Championship, it’s one other dominant efficiency for McIlroy, who begins the week at 5 beneath in strokes-primarily based scoring on his technique to an 18-beneath whole and a 4-stroke victory.
With a rival tour, the Premier Golf League, looming, McIlroy stands towards the breakaway circuit in February 2020, telling reporters, “I would like to be on the right side of history.”
Before the pandemic halts play, McIlroy reclaims the highest spot on the planet rating following 4 consecutive high-5 finishes to begin the 12 months, however when the Tour resumes its schedule in June he fails to publish one other high-10.
The spotlight of the 12 months is available in September when McIlroy and his spouse announce the beginning of the couple’s first baby, Poppy Kennedy.
He inadvertently finds himself embroiled in a rule snafu after taking a drop for an embedded ball on the ’21 Farmers Insurance Open after video later reveals his golf ball bounced. McIlroy later explains a volunteer stepped on his golf ball.
McIlroy turns into the primary worldwide participant elected to the Tour’s coverage board following two stints on the participant advisory council. “On the PAC it’s great to be involved and it’s great to have your voice heard but that’s all it does. You don’t have a vote and being PAC chair, being on the policy board you have a vote and your voice actually counts,” he says.
Mired in one other droop – winnless on Tour since 2019 – McIlroy surprises many when he reveals in March ’21 he has began working with swing coach Pete Cowen. He later explains that longtime coach Michael Bannon will stay part of his crew.
McIlroy enters this week’s Wells Fargo Championship having dropped to fifteenth In the Official World Golf Ranking, his lowest place since November, 2009.