The Open 2014: Rory McIlroy's father Gerry bags £100,000 after ten-year bet on his son to win Open Championship pays off - and his friends cash in too
McIlroy may have bagged £975,000 along with the Claret Jug but is dad Gerry was left celebrating a hefty pay-out after backing his son to win the Open within 10 years
Ten years ago Gerry McIlroy was a bar steward who showed an undying belief in his son that he staked £200 on the 15-year-old to win the Open Championship within 10 years. Today, he is not only celebrating the Claret Jug coming home with his family, but also counting the £100,000 in winnings from that bet.
Rory McIlroy’s triumph at Royal Liverpool on Sunday evening saw the Northern Irishman clinch a third major of his career, adding the Open success to his previous victories in the 2011 US Open and the 2012 PGA Championship.
While the money may not be a huge bonus to McIlroy Senior – Rory earned a whopping £975,000 with victory at Hoylake – it will be welcomed with open arms by two of his friends, who were persuaded to back teenage McIlroy all those years ago.
“I don't think it matters so much to my dad any more, but the mates he did it with, I think they're a little happier,” joked McIlroy after his final round 71 that was enough to see off the challenge of Sergio Garcia and Rickie Fowler.
Gerry placed £200 on odds of 500/1 to bag himself the handsome pay-out, while his friends placed between them £200 at odds of 250/1 that he would win the UK major within 10 years – or before 2015. They also placed an additional £100 at 150/1 that McIlroy would win the same tournament before he turned 50 – 25 longs years away.
“As the family celebrations get under way there'll be an extra bottle or two of bubbly courtesy of the bookies,” said Jessica Bridge of Ladbrokes. “This is the most expensive Open result since Tiger Woods's heyday in 2006, but although we're facing heavy losses, we can't help but admire the foresight of Rory's dad and his pals a decade ago.
“It's not the first time a famous parent has taken us to the cleaners. Lewis Hamilton's family and friends cashed in from bets placed when the F1 star was just nine years old.”
Read more: McIlroy turns his attentions to The Masters
Glory for Rory as he wins the Open Championship
McIlroy overcomes the hecklers to hold on and win
The victory is just reward for 52-year-old McIlroy after he worked 100 hour weeks in order to fund his son’s amateur career.
“From 12pm to 6pm I was a bartender at Holywood Golf Club, then, after going home for tea, I'd return to the sports club from 7pm-midnight to work behind the bar,” Gerry said in 2009. “I am a working-class man and that's all I knew – to get the money we needed for Rory to be able to learn and compete at golf.”
Rory McIlroy throws his ball into the crowd in celebration of his 2014 Open Championship His hard work and belief in his son has certainly paid off and not just from the bet, as McIlroy Junior has bagged around £30m in prize winnings since those amateur days and secured himself a bumper £75m sponsorship deal with Nike.
McIlroy said after he bought a house for his parents Gerry and Rosie: “I'll never be able to repay Mum and Dad for what they did, but at least they know they'll never have to work another day. I'll do whatever it takes to look after them.”
Latest in Sport
Liverpool injury news: Brendan Rodgers could be without up to seven players for Burnley game... as Jordon Ibe posts picture of knee brace
Pornhub: Cheeky Liverpool fan uploads Philippe Coutinho wonder-goal video to adult website
Watch the moment a basketball player reassures a small boy after a mass brawl erupted on court
Jon Stewart brings The Daily Show to WWE Raw as Seth Rollins pays the price for feud with TV presenter
Manuel Pellegrini future: Why Manchester City could turn to Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers if Pellegrini is dismissed
- 1 Home Office says Nigerian asylum-seeker can’t be a lesbian as she’s got children
- 2 What happens to your body when you give up sugar?
- 3 Japanese island overrun with cats after population explodes
- 4 Apple and Google users being spied on for a decade because of 'Freak' security flaw
- 5 Have sex with your iPad thanks to the new sex toy no-one asked for
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
Durham Free School: 'Creationism taught at' free school facing closure
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
Ukraine crisis: Top Chinese diplomat backs Putin and says West should 'abandon zero-sum mentality'