Rory McIlroy gave his father just the perfect present by winning his first US Open title with record 16-under 268. His father, Northern Irishman Gerry McIlroy, who worked in the cold of the day or the heat at three jobs to provide for his son’s passion, was watching his son perform on the sideline and witnessed his first major victory.
The third-youngest golfer to play in the US Open finished with no ties, eight shots clear of Aussie Jason Day and four shots ahead of Nicklaus and Tiger’s previous record. After he made the putt on the final 18th hole, Rory came up to his father on the sidelines. He smiled, shook hands with him, said “Dad, happy Father’s day” and seized his father in his arms. They walked away together, and a day later, Gerry was at a celebration ceremony at the Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Maryland with Northern Ireland’s flag draped over him.
The 22-year-old golfer told journalists it was his father’s presence that helped him to stay calm and focused during these four mind-boggling days. Perhaps, his presence could have helped McIlroy to avoid a collapse at Masters two months back. But Gerry was home in Hollywood, Northern Ireland when he was given the sad news over the phone.
It is the second U.S. Open victory for Northern Ireland in a row. Former champion Graeme McDowell hugged the new winner and congratulated him with the title.
Gold has needed a star since Woods’ injury and personal life ruined his performance a year and half ago and now it seems that it has found what it needs.