Rory McIlroy dedicated the biggest win of his career to his mother – then vowed to dominate world golf for years to come.
McIlroy’s two shot victory at the British Open at Royal Liverpool also landed a $400,000 bet placed by his father Gerry and three mates a decade ago.
They got odds of 500-1 from the Ladbrokes chain that 'WeeMac' would win the British Open by the age of 26 and he duly delivered on Sunday as he held off the challenge of Spain’s Sergio Garcia and America’s Ricky Fowler.
As he lifted the Claret Jug, the third major of his young career, McIlroy declared: “I have a lot of family and friends here with me this week. But my mother is here for the first time to see me win a Major. This win’s for you Mum.”
Now that he has added the British Open to the US Open and USPGA titles won previously McIlroy wants to complete the major Grand Slam at Augusta next April and dominate world golf.
He told the BBC: “I feel like there’s a lot more left in me. I want be to be the guy that goes on and wins majors regularly.”
Asked if he could match the 18 Grand Slam wins of Jack Nicklaus or the 14 won by Tiger Woods, McIlroy said: “I definitely hope so.”
He added: “Golf is looking for someone to put their hand up and try to dominate and I want to be that person.
“I’m immensely proud of myself right now. To sit here 25 years of age and win my third major championship and be three-quarters of the way to the career grand slam, I never dreamed of being at this point in my career so quickly.”
The USPGA next month is the fourth major of the season, but already McIlroy is looking to the Masters at Augusta next April and the one big title that has so far eluded the new world number two.
He said: “I’m getting more comfortable. The thing is I’ve always been comfortable from tee to green at Augusta.
“And it’s just taken me a few years to figure out the greens and figure out where you need to miss it and some different little shots that you might need that week.
“I’ll be going into Augusta next year pretty confident.”