Father Knows Best: Rory McIlroy's Dad Stands to Win Big on Decade-Old British Open Bet on Son

Rory McIlroy enjoys a six-shot lead heading into the final round of the British Open. His father saw this coming--ten years ago.

According to British sports broadcaster Andrew Cotter, Gerry McIlroy placed a legal wager in 2004 on his 15-year-old son to win the British Open within a decade. Should the 25-year-old McIlroy falter in Sunday's final 18 holes, the foursome will lose £400 pounds. But at 500-1, the bet stands to award them £200,000--that's nearly $350,000--should the young golfer hang on to his lead.   

The British Open instituted a gambling prohibition among participants this year. But the rule doesn't say anything about caddies--or daddies. 

Gerry McIlroy's wager was hardly the most substantial investment the longtime bartender made in his son.

"At that time in Ireland, 9 years of age, there were no tournaments," Gerry McIlroy wrote at Golf.com two years ago. "They were all in America. So we used to work at three jobs. I used to clean in the mornings--locker rooms, toilets. You had to get the money. I'm workin' class, you know? I cleaned at the rugby club, cleaned all the toilets and the showers and the bar. And then in the afternoons, from 12 o'clock until 6 o'clock, I used to tend bar at a bar in Holywood, [Northern Ireland,] and then at 7 o'clock at night, I was at the rugby club, at the bar again. So I did that for eight years, 90 hours a week. Rosie worked for an American company, 3M, night shift, because I got home at 12. She worked 12 to 7:30 a.m., on the line. But it's all paid off."

It may pay off a bit more Sunday afternoon. 


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