It's definitely not all about the Benjamins—or in this case, pounds—for these players, but padding the wallet with a few days of links golf never hurt anybody.
Here is the final leaderboard from the tournament, followed by the prize money payout.
|2014 British Open Prize Money Payout|
It should also be noted that McIlroy's father, Gerry, made a substantial chunk of change. His decade-old bet on his son to win the British Open before the age of 26 will net approximately $341,000—and he'll personally receive about $85,000 after he splits it with his betting partners, as per Golf.com's Matt Newman.
Obviously, McIlroy got a little bit more from the tournament than just the money. It's every golfer's dream to wrap their hands around the Claret Jug and call themselves a British Open champion. This tournament could very well be the moment McIlroy went from star to superstar when we look back at the end of his career.
His final round wasn't spectacular, but it featured only two real miscues, bogeys on the fifth and sixth holes of the Royal Liverpool Golf Club. It opened up a window of opportunity for Sergio Garcia and Rickie Fowler, but McIlroy kept his nerve on the back nine to win the tournament.
In fact, his biggest mistake might have been in his post-match speech, per BBC Sport:
As ESPN Stats & Info noted, McIlroy became the third-youngest golfer to win three different majors:
Based on the legendary company from that figure, the Northern Irishman stands to win many more major tournaments. Phil Mickelson told ESPN's Bob Harig that he expects McIlroy to win a Masters sometime in the near future:
There were plenty of remarkable aspects to McIlroy's victory. The one that projects best for his future performances in tournaments is that when he's locked in at a major, few players in the world are better.
Here are his scorecards from each of his three major wins.
|Rory McIlroy, Major-Winning Scorecards|
|Tournament||Round 1||Round 2||Round 3||Round 4||Final Score|
|2011 U.S. Open||65||66||68||69||-16|
|2012 PGA Championship||67||75||67||66||-13|
|2014 British Open||66||66||68||71||-17|
The 2011 U.S. Open was a particularly astounding evisceration, as McIlroy led that tournament wire-to-wire.
One of the more interesting subplots of the tournament was how Tiger Woods' play might affect his chances of getting selected for the Ryder Cup this year. The American captain, Tom Watson, finished five shots ahead of Woods in the tournament, shooting an incredible 68 in the final round at 64 years young.
Woods' frustrating performance, characterized by poor driving and five extra strokes on the No. 2 hole over the course of the tournament, may preclude him from consideration in the Cup. Of course, that's not how the 14-time major winner sees it.
“I would say yes. But that's my position, my take on it,” Woods said, via Golf.com's Mike Walker. “He's the captain. Obviously it's his decision. He's going to field the best 12 players that he thinks will win the Cup back. And I hope I'm on that team.”
Garcia will rue his awful bunker shot on the No. 15 hole. He lowered his shoulder and tried to get too much lift on the ball, which ended up with him knocking the ball back into the lip of the bunker and forcing him to finish the hole with a crucial bogey. He showed a steelier mental edge in this tournament but was unable to avoid the crucial mistake that characterizes his play at times.
Adam Scott showed why he is the No. 1 ranked golfer in the world with his excellent final day performance, rocketing up the leaderboard with a Sunday score of 65 to take home another big payday.
All eyes will be on McIlroy at major tournaments for at least the next couple of years. Fowler has proven to be a worthy foe but will need to be more consistent, as he has still missed seven cuts in 2014. The money says plenty about McIlroy's performance, but all anyone remembers at the end of a strong golf career is the number of titles in one's trophy cabinet.