He's won three majors by the age of 25. Racked up 12 career wins to date, and been part of two Ryder Cup winning teams. However, at age 16, Rory McIlroy almost gave up golf altogether.
Speaking ahead of the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational which tees off this Thursday at Firestone, the world No.2 recalled a conversation with his father minutes after winning yet another trophy.
“I was ready to give it up when I was 16,” said McIlroy. “I remember the drive. I just won the Mullingar Scratch Cup, and I remember the drive home with my dad. It was like a three‑hour drive and I said to him, ‘I don't like this anymore. I don't enjoy it. I just won, and I don't know, I'm not happy, I'm not excited.’
“I went back home and didn't play golf for about three days. Then I thought, 'Actually, I really like this game.' I was just an impulsive teenager going through hormonal issues.”
Rory McIlroy’s toilet snaps of Claret Jug
Fast forward nine years, and ‘Rors’ is one major shy of a career grand slam. He’s added the Open Championship to his US Open and PGA Championship titles, and only needs a Green Jacket at the Masters to complete a clean sweep of majors.
After clinching the Claret Jug at Royal Liverpool, the Northern Irishman revealed he can’t stop taking pictures of his prize…wherever it may be.
"I’ve been taking pictures of it beside the TV and on top of the toilet." - Rory McIlroy
“It's just sort of been sitting at my mum and dad's house for a few days,” said McIlroy. “I took it out Monday night in Belfast with all of my buddies and we had a good time with it.
“Apart from that, I’ve been taking pictures of it beside the TV and on top of the toilet, and wherever it's been.
“I've been taking a few photos. It's been quite funny, sending them around to all my friends.”
Rory McIlroy determined to stay focused
As youngster playing golf at Holywood Golf Club, Northern Ireland, McIlroy dreamed of holing the winning putt for the Open. Now his dream has been realised, he’s eager to build on his success.
“I didn't grow up wanting to lead a normal life. I grew up wanting to win major championships,” said the two-time Ryder Cup winner.
“The Open is the one that I dreamed about winning when I was a kid at Holywood, holing all those putts to beat Tiger, and beat Phil, and beat Ernie.
"At the end of the year, you can really reflect on everything you've done." - Rory McIlroy
, you should celebrate it for a couple of days, but then you've got to move on.
“You've got to keep moving forward and keep thinking about what you want to achieve from now until the end of the year.
“Then at the end of the year, you can really reflect on everything you've done and enjoy it.”
Rory McIlroy wants No.1 spot
Providing Adam Scott finishes outside the top five, if McIlroy wins the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational in Ohio this weekend he will return the world No.1 spot.
“World No.1 is a big goal of mine. I've never won a World Golf Championship, that's another thing. I've got three majors but never won one of these. That's another thing I'd like to knock off the list,” said Rory.