Hannah Hartley, Staff Writer
St. Patrick’s Day weekend proved lucky for PGA golfer Rory McIlroy. He walked away from the Players Championship Tournament with a win, and a little over $2 million. 29-year-old McIlroy, a native of Ireland, went pro in 2007, joined the PGA Tour in 2010, and has since been a big name in the golf world. The Players Championship was held at the TPC Sawgrass course in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. For this year’s golfing season, McIlroy has made seven appearances in PGA tournaments, six of which he came out in the top ten.
Hailing from Holywood, Ireland, McIlroy was hitting 40-yard drives by age two. In 2007, when he went pro, he became the youngest person to rank in the world’s top 50 golfers. In 2011, he won the U.S. Open with a score of 268, replacing the record previously held by Tiger Woods, and Jack Nicklaus. McIlroy’s second major title was earned at the 2012 PGA Championship, making him the youngest player to win that tournament. By 2014, he became the third golfer to win three majors by age 25, joining the likes of Woods and Nicklaus.
This is McIlroy’s first time winning the Players Championship, as well as his first win since the Arnold Palmer Invitational that was held over St. Patrick’s Day weekend in 2018. He delivered a solid performance up until the fourteenth hole, where he performed a “careless bogey,” according to ESPN. “Some golf shot there,” said Harry Diamond, McIlroy’s caddy and best friend. After the sixteenth hole, McIlroy had a one-point lead over 48-year-old Jim Furyk, who played well during the back nine holes, and drove a tee shot off of the 18th hole that landed a mere three feet away from the hole. A dozen players were within the lead at different times, even coming within two shots of first place.
McIlroy finished 16 under par with a final score of 272, just one shot ahead of Jim Furyk, according to the PGA Tour. His two birdie shots on the last two holes clinched him the lead position. He now ranks number one for the FedEx Cup and has amassed 600 FedEx Cup points. These points are based on victories and high finishes in various pro tournaments. Golf Digest explains that a PGA Tour victory earns players 500 points, and the Players Championships, as well as the four majors, gain 600 points per golfer per win. According to ESPN, McIlroy is in an ideal position to use his momentum from the Players Championship in the Masters tournament in the upcoming weeks. “When you reflect on the week, you have to reflect on the 72 holes played, and every time I reflected on the 72 holes played, I’ve been pretty happy. I’ve done everything I want to do,” McIlroy said in a post-tournament interview with ESPN. His next tournament will be the Masters, played at the Augusta National Golf Club over the week of April 8 to April 14.