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Rory can make dad a rich man

other Updated: Jun 21, 2011 19:41 IST

Agencies
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Rory McIlroy's father stands to make £200,000 with his friends from a bet struck seven years ago if his son manages to win the Open by 2014.

Gerry McIlroy, who worked as a barman before his son turned professional, and three friends put £100 each into a kitty and placed £400 at odds of 500-1 that the then 15-year-old would win the Claret Jug before the age of 25.

McIlroy's parents had backed his ambition from an early age, installing an all-weather putting green in the back garden in Holywood on the outskirts of Belfast.

The 22-year-old Northern Irishman won the US Open at Congressional on Sunday with a record low score for the tournament of 16-under par and has been installed as the favourite to win a second major at Royal St George's next month, at odds as low as 3-1.

He is an even shorter-priced favourite at 10-11 to win the BBC's Sports Personality of the Year in December, an accolade last won by a golfer when Nick Faldo took the award in 1989.

The father of the Wigan goalkeeper Chris Kirkland, struck a similar long-term bet on his son's potential in 1995, putting £98.10 on at odds of 100-1 that the 14-year-old Coventry youth-team goalkeeper would play for England before he turned 30. Eleven years later, in August 2006, he picked up £9,908.10 when Kirkland made his England debut against Greece.

The father of the Wigan goalkeeper Chris Kirkland, struck a similar long-term bet on his son's potential in 1995, putting £98.10 on at odds of 100-1 that the 14-year-old Coventry youth-team goalkeeper would play for England before he turned 30. Eleven years later, in August 2006, he picked up £9,908.10 when Kirkland made his England debut against Greece.