Date of Birth:4th May 1989Country:Northern Ireland

Rory McIlroy

Destiny decreed that Rory McIlroy - who first grabbed the public spotlight when appearing as a youngster on Gerry Kelly's TV show on Ulster Television where he chipped ball after ball into the drum of a washing machine - would become one of world golf's greatest draws. He won the World Juniors Under 10s at Doral in Florida and his progress through the amateur ranks saw him break record after record (youngest winner of the Irish Close and youngest winner of the West of Ireland) and also claim the European Strokeplay title before he finished with a swansong in the Walker Cup at Royal Co Down in 2007. McIlroy wasted no time making an impact as a tour professional, securing his European tour card almost immediately with a third place finish in the 2007 Dunhill Links, only his second event as a pro. He claimed his first professional title with victory in the 2009 Dubai Desert Classic, a season which also saw him finished third in the US PGA at Hazeltine and move to number one on the PGA European Tour's 'Race to Dubai' going into the final counting event, the Dubai World Championship. However, he was overtaken by Lee Westwood in the final counting event and eventually had to settle for second place (with earnings for the season of €3.6m) on the 2009 Order of Merit... made a sensational breakthrough win on the PGA Tour in April, just two days before his 21st birthday, when he won the Quail Hollow Championship after shooting a course record final round of 62. McIlroy finished four strokes clear of runner-up, US Masters champion Phil Mickelson, and moved to No. 9 in the world rankings... owns a labradoodle called "Theo"... is an avid Manchester United and Ulster rugby supporter.