Bookies battle McIlroy mania

Rory McIlroy’s dad stands to win his share of a whopping €221,000 if his son claims the Open before he’s 25.

Gerry McIlroy and three pals got odds of 500-1 against Rory winning the Claret Jug by 2013 and slapped £400 (€442) on him with a local bookie when the Holywood star was just 15.

Since his Dubai victory on Sunday the bookies have been slashing McIlroy's odds and made him a 7-1 shot to win a Major this year and just 7-4 to pick up a Grand Slam title before he turns 25 in May 2014.

Gerry said: “We put the bet on him winning the Open before he was 25 when he was 15. But they would only let us lay £400 - £100 each. Even then the bookies were cottoning on to Rory.”

McIlroy has played just one major so far in his career - finishing as top amateur behind Padraig Harrington in 42nd place at Carnoustie two years ago.

He failed to qualify for Royal Birkdale last year but as a member of the world's top 50 he’s qualified for all four of this season's Majors and his odds on winning the Open at Turnberry have already been cut from 125-1 in November to 25-1.

Paddy Power have made McIlroy 12-1 to win the Irish Open at Baltray in May, 25 - 1 to win the Masters on his debut, 40-1 to win the US PGA at Hazeltine and 66-1 for the US Open at Bethpage Black.

As for the Ryder Cup and the Race to Dubai, McIlroy has been cut to 2-9 at Boylesports to make Colin Montgomerie's 2010 Ryder Cup team while he’s 12-1 second favourite behind Garcia to lift the top prize in Dubai in November.

McIlroy's Irish fans spotted his potential as soon as he became the youngest winner of the West of Ireland title at just 15 years of age in 2006.

Now Paddy Power have a series of McIlroy specials - including the odds on him beating the Major records set by Woods and Jack Nicklaus.

Woods won 10 Majors before he was 30 with McIlroy's odds of grabbing 11 or more by May 2019 just 300-1.

Ladbrokes insist they have been flooded with McIlroy requests since his Dubai win.

Spokesman Donal McCarthy said: "He's the hottest ticket in town at the moment with his Dubai performance stimulating the most interest in golf since Harrington’s 2008 double. 

"We have been inundated with requests for McIlroy to go on to greater things in 2009".

Ladbrokes McIlroy Specials
2-5 To win again on the European Tour 2009 
6-4 To finish ahead of Harrington in 2009 Open Championship
7-4 Not to win again on European Tour 2009
7-4 To finish ahead of Harrington in 2009 Masters
11-4 To finish 2009 in top ten official world rankings.
9-1 To win any Major in 2009
10-1 To win Race to Dubai
14-1 To win Irish Open
20-1 To lead The Open Championship 2009 after round one
22-1 Next maiden winner of a Major
25-1 To win Open