McIlroy's dad cashes decade-old bet at British Open

Rory McIlroy (R) of Northern Ireland talks with his dad Gerry McIlroy (L) prior to the tournament....

Rory McIlroy (R) of Northern Ireland talks with his dad Gerry McIlroy (L) prior to the tournament. (Andrew Redington/Getty Images/AFP)

DAVE HILSON, QMI AGENCY

, Last Updated: 7:06 PM ET

HOYLAKE, ENGLAND - It seems good things really do come to those who wait, even if they have to wait for 10 years.

Rory McIlroy’s father, Gerry, and three of his friends are collecting on a 10-year-old bet after the 25-year-old golf sensation went wire-to-wire to win the British Open on Sunday.

You see, long before McIlroy ever won the British Open or the U.S. Open or the PGA Championship, he was winning as a kid.

When he was 15 years old he helped the European team beat the United States in the Junior Ryder Cup in 2004 and he also won a handful of amateur titles.

So his father decided to put some money on the budding star. McIlroy’s pop and three of his friends laid down 100 pounds each on Rory to win the British Open before the age of 26.

That just paid off in a big way for the happy foursome.

McIlroy, who beat Sergio Garcia and Rickie Fowler by two strokes on Sunday to claim the Open title, just turned 25 in May.

McIlroy’s father and his friends will reportedly cash in for 200,000 pounds each.

McIlroy, who got a huge hug from his dad after coming off the 18th green, said at his media conference at Royal Liverpool that “the other three men that he did that with, they’re going to be very happy.”

Who wouldn’t be?

WOODS LEFT OUT?

Can’t imagine Tiger Woods did his Ryder Cup aspirations any good this week at the British Open. Especially when you consider he didn’t even beat the American captain. Who is 64 years old!

Five-time Open winner Tom Watson went out in style on Sunday during the final round at Royal Liverpool by firing a four-under-par 68. The score gave the golfing great a tournament total of one-over par, good enough to put him into a tie for 51st with Jason Dufner and Bill Haas.

Tiger Woods, meanwhile, could only muster a 69th-place tie, his worst finish at an Open since missing the cut in 2009 at Turnberry. And his best round of the week was a 69.

Watson said Woods would only be chosen for the Cup squad if he is healthy and playing well.

While Woods says he has fully recovered from a pinched nerve in his back that required surgery and put him on the shelf for four months, he can’t say he isn’t playing well.

But Watson said after the tournament that he can’t make his decision based on one event.

“It's just one day. It's a snapshot. It's not a big deal,” Watson said.

Tiger seems to agree.

“I would say yes,” Woods said when asked if he should be on the U.S. squad that is taking on Europe in Scotland in September. “But that's my position, my take on it. He's the captain. Obviously it's his decision. He's going to field the best 12 players that he thinks will win the Cup back. And I hope I'm on that team.”

HEARN HAS FANS

Canadian David Hearn had some fans following him around during the final round of the British Open on Sunday.

Although the gallery was nowhere near as large as the one following eventual winner Rory McIlroy, it was still fun to see.

There were miniature Canadian flags being flapped and shouts of “Go David” as the Brantford, Ont., native made his way around the 7,312-yard links course at Hoylake.

One fan in particular was hard to miss as he had a rather large bandage on the top of his head. A few spectators had been hit by balls this week during the tournament so one could only assume that the same thing had happened to him.

But not so said Paul Whitman of Edmonton.

Whitman said he had taken a ball off the noggin when he and his pals were playing a round at Turnberry prior to this week’s Open.

Whitman said his friend was hacking away in a valley on the eighth hole of the course where the Open was last held in 2009, a Stewart Cink victory, and hit him in the head.

“It was a blind shot,” Whitman said. “It bled out pretty badly.”

Gruesome stuff, but not bad enough to stop the Canadians from coming down to Royal Liverpool to cheer on Hearn and Graham DeLaet of Weyburn, Sask., who didn’t make the cut.

Hearn, by the way, finished the tournament three-under par, good enough for a T32.

 


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