Gerry and Rosie McIlroy worked long hours to give their gifted son Rory every opportunity to reach his potential. But they never once pushed him to succeed.

Although the young McIlroy was introduced to golf as a baby by his father, it was his own passion for the game that made him a star.

But there's no question that Gerry and his wife Rosie sacrificed a lot for their talented son.

The 51-year-old, who once held down three jobs toiling 100 hours a week as a cleaner and barman, told the Belfast Telegraph: 'We worked very hard to get him where he is. If we'd not put the effort in at the time, I could be here wondering what might have happened and regretting not doing it.'

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From the beginning the McIlroy's were determined to bring their son to world class junior events in California and Florida from a very young age.

'It was expensive - hotels, air fares and everything but we worked to get where we are,' he said. 'We are very lucky with Rory. Of course there are times everyone gets fed up working, but as the years went by Rory got better and better, so it was more of an incentive.

'I didn't mind and Rosie didn't mind. Rory is our only child so you can just do the best you can for them. We didn't know what was going to happen. All we did was try our best for him.'

Rory McIlroy embraces his father having won the US OpenGetty Images