Rory McIlroy may have bagged almost a million pounds for his Open Championship win, but his father Gerry is also in the money. The golfer left Liverpool with a wallet-busting £975,000 but Gerry McIlroy took the bookies to the cleaners with a bet he made when his son was still a young teen.
Rory's rip-roaring Royal Liverpool success means bookies Ladbrokes are set to pay out on bets placed by Gerry and three friends 10 years ago that young McIlroy, then just 15, would win the Open Championship before the age of 26.Rory was 25 years, two months and 16 days old yesterday as he picked up one of golf's biggest titles.
Ladbrokes tweeted last night that it was paying out £180,000 to Rory's dad, a former barman, following his son's storming Hoylake success.It read: "CONGRATULATIONS RORY: We're paying out 180k to Rory's Dad and pals. There'll be some party at the McIlroy's tonight!"
McIlroy snr and three friends are understood to have placed £100 each at around 500/1 on Rory winning the Open before his 26th birthday to net each around £45,000 after taxes.Rory has also been betting in recent days.
Before the Open Championship got under way he pocketed £20 from fellow Northern Ireland golfer Darren Clarke on Wednesday morning.The pair headed out bright and early for a practice round together at Hoylake, playing for their usual bet.
McIlroy was quick to show off who shot the lowest round by celebrating wildly after picking up the crisp note from Clarke, raising his prize in the air like he did the old Claret Jug yesterday.As well as his almost £1m payday yesterday, Rory's earning power will be even greater following his Open victory.
With sponsorship and promotion deals his income will now be truly stratospheric, making him quite possibly the highest-paid Northern Ireland sportsman ever And if his dad keeps making bets he won't do too bad either.