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Open Greats


Rory McIlroy at The Open

Rory McIlroy with the Claret Jug after winning The Open in 2014

Rory McIlroy may well argue that he needs to win the Claret Jug at least one more time to be considered a great of The Open.

Yet there is no doubt the Champion Golfer of 2014 has made a hugely significant impact on golf’s original major since claiming the Silver Medal on his debut in 2007.

A superb 68 in round one helped the 18-year-old McIlroy to low amateur honours at Carnoustie as he finished in a tie for 42nd.

Three years later he fired a stunning opening-day 63 at St Andrews – equalling what was then the lowest score at The Open – on his way to a third-placed finish.

On that occasion, McIlroy was unable to follow up his impressive first round with a similarly stellar performance on day two, but it was a different story at Royal Liverpool in The 143rd Open as the Northern Irishman went wire-to-wire in a dominant display, following two 66s with scores of 68 and 71 to finish two clear of Rickie Fowler and Sergio Garcia.

Always a huge crowd favourite at The Open, McIlroy has repeatedly challenged for further success at the Championship since his triumph at Hoylake. After being prevented from defending his title due to injury in 2015, he tied for fifth, fourth and second in the next three years, completing a full set of top-five placings by the age of 29.

Even when he missed the cut on home soil at Royal Portrush in 2019, the four-time major champion provided an afternoon to savour on day two, as he followed up his first-round 79 with a captivating 65 and came agonisingly close to making the weekend against all odds.

Rory McIlroy following his 65 in round two of The 148th Open

Rory McIlroy following his brilliant second round at Royal Portrush in 2019

A second triumph then looked likely to be secured at St Andrews in 2022 as McIlroy, to the delight of a record-breaking crowd, held the lead going into the final nine holes of The 150th Open.

However, despite hitting every green in regulation or better during his final round, he could not get a putt to drop and had to settle for another third-place finish as Cameron Smith charged to victory in sensational style and Cameron Young eagled the last to claim second.

As he looks to bounce back from that disappointment, McIlroy is sure to be relishing a return to Royal Liverpool, the site of his finest hour in the Championship.


Rory McIlroy’s record at The Open


2007 | Carnoustie

Position: T42

Score: 289 (68, 76, 73, 72)


2009 | Turnberry

Position: T47

Score: 288 (69, 74, 74, 71)

Rory McIlroy at The Open in 2009

McIlroy in his second Open appearance, at Turnberry in 2009

2010 | St Andrews

Position: T3

Score: 280 (63, 80, 69, 68)


2011 | Royal St George’s

Position: T25

Score: 287 (71, 69, 74, 73)


2012 | Royal Lytham & St Annes

Position: T60

Score: 288 (67, 75, 73, 73)


2013 | Muirfield

Position: Missed Cut

Score: 154 (79, 75)


2014 | Royal Liverpool

Position: Champion Golfer of the Year

Score: 271 (66, 66, 68, 71)

2016 | Royal Troon

Position: T5

Score: 280 (69, 71, 73, 67)


2017 | Royal Birkdale

Position: T4

Score: 275 (71, 68, 69, 67)


2018 | Carnoustie

Position: T2

Score: 278 (69, 69, 70, 70)

Rory McIlroy at The Open in 2018

Fans watch McIlroy in the final round of The 147th Open at Carnoustie

2019 | Royal Portrush

Position: Missed Cut

Score: 144 (79, 65)


2021 | Royal St George’s

Position: T46

Score: 280 (70, 70, 69, 71)


2022 | St Andrews

Position: 3rd

Score: 270 (66, 68, 66, 70)

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