Rory McIlory might not be the No. 1-ranked golfer in the world right now, but after an incredible win at the Irish Open and even more incredible donation of his winnings, he should feel pretty good about himself. As an Irishman, he understandably wanted to win the event almost as much as a major, but for a while on the final day, it seemed like the opportunity might slip through his fingers.
Entering hole No. 16, McIlory found himself a stroke behind Scotsman Russell Knox after leading for the majority of the weekend. Then he hit an amazing second shot 270 yards to the green on the 570-yard par-5 for an easy two-put birdie to retake the top spot. For an exclamation point, he smacked a 253-yard approach to within three feet of the 18th hole to set up an eagle and win the Open by three strokes.
Here's his shot on the 16th:
And the one that drew him huge cheers on the 18th:
Visibly emotional after winning, McIlroy immediately pledged his winnings of 650,000 euros to the Rory Foundation, which helps disadvantaged children live better lives.
"It means an awful lot. This tournament now to me is one of the most important of my year," he told Golf Channel. "Not just because it is the Irish Open and it's home, but because of what we're doing charitable-wise, as well. The kids we've helped out this week. The money we've raised will go a long way to making their lives a little bit better."
The win could help him build momentum heading into the U.S. Open next month, but even more important is how much it earned for kids in need. Good on you, Rory.