He has four major trophies to his name at just 25 years of age, he has a deal with sportswear suppliers Nike that earns him a cool £150m, and now Rory McIlroy has proved he has the safest hands in Northern Ireland.
The 2014 US PGA Champion added to his success at last month’s Open Championship to secure back-to-back major victories and give himself a huge boost ahead of the Ryder Cup and next year’s Masters, where he will look to add the final major to his collection and secure the grand slam of golf.
After beginning the day with a one-shot lead, McIlroy slipped down the field as Phil Mickelson, Rickie Fowler and Henrik Stenson took the fight to the world No 1. But after a poor front-nine, McIlroy turned it on to record an eagle at 10 paved the way for his brilliant fightback, which he capped with a birdie at 17 to secure his second US PGA Championship title.
With onlookers including his father Gerry McIlroy surrounding him, McIlroy prepared to lift the overwhelming Wanamaker Trophy aloft, only for PGA president Ted Bishop to drop the lid. But showing lightning reactions that Northern Ireland goalkeeper Roy Carroll would be proud – and probably a tad jealous – of, McIlroy grabbed the lid before it hit the ground, holding it up to mass applause from the gallery watching him.
McIlroy’s success sees him become the third youngest player in golf history to win four major championships after Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus.