Some are quickly making the young golfer from Northern Ireland into Tiger Woods' heir as king of the links. Rory McIlroy has a long way to go before he reaches that height, but his dossier up to this point is impressive.
Here are the facts on McIlroy, the record-breaking 22-year-old golfer who has riveted the sports world's attention onto the U.S. Open this weekend:
• Born May 4, 1989, in Holywood, Northern Ireland.
• Stands 5' 10 and weighs 160 lbs.
• Is a fan of Manchester United.
• Played on Europe's winning Junior Ryder Cup team in 2004.
• Turned pro at age 17 in 2007.
• Became the youngest player ever to be in the top 50 players in the world, in November 2008.
• Won his first professional tournament in February 2009: the Dubai Desert Classic.
• Is sponsored by Titleist and uses the company's bags, clubs, and balls.
• Finished 20th in the 2009 Masters Tournament, and had the third highest average drive among golfers making the cut.
• Won the PGA's Quail Hollow Championship in April 2010, beating Phil Mickelson by four shots on the strength of a course-record 62 on the final day.
• Took a four-stroke lead into the final round of the 2011 Masters but his game fell apart, capped by a triple-bogey on the 10th hole. His 80-shot round is the worst final round in history for anyone who led the Masters going into the final day. McIlroy finished tied for 15th place.
• Set the record for lowest score at any point during a U.S. Open tournament, at 14 under par, yesterday when he birdied the 15th hole.
• Set the record for lowest score at the U.S. Open after 54 holes, at 199 strokes.