Rory McIlroy dad bet: Wins decade-old wager after son clinches British Open

The golfer nets $1.6 million; his dad pockets $170K after winning a side bet placed 10 years ago

By Tyler Ragghianti
Posted on Jul 21, 2014 - 10:02am

HOYLAKE, England (  
Rory McIlroy's dad Gerry cashes in on decade-old bet that his son would win British Open by the age of 25.

Rory McIlroy’s dad Gerry cashes in on decade-old bet that his son would win British Open by the age of 25. (Photo courtesy: Jamie Squire/AFP)

Not too many dads believe in their son so much that they’re willing to place a bet. But Rory McIlroy’s dad did when he placed a wager 10 years ago that his son would win the British Open before he turned 26.

According to, Gerry McIlroy bet 200 pounds (about US$683) at 500/1 odds with the British betting firm Ladbrokes; two of his friends each bet 200 pounds at 250/1 odds for Rory to win the British Open by 2015 and another 200 pounds at 150/1 odds for McIlroy to win the tournament before age 50.

It paid off all around!

Rory McIlroy won the British Open on Sunday.

Rory McIlroy dad bet: The payout

Gerry McIlroy might have already been super happy for his son as a proud dad. But he also got a few bucks that put an even bigger smile on his face.

Gerry won $171,000 for his bet and his friends split $136,700.

“We take the chance on bets like these,” Rachel Bridge from Ladbrokes told “We can make a lot money, but it’s a big risk if one comes through. Unfortunately, on this one, we have egg on our face. Rory’s father and his friends are having champagne on us tonight.”

Gerry worked as a bartender before his son went pro.

Rory McIlroy is still the biggest winner of course. The payout for his win netted the star golfer from Northern Ireland a cool $1,665,933.

A passion for sports led Tyler Ragghianti to brief stints with Fox Sports Florida and Bright House Sports Network. After spending two spring trainings filming with the New York Yankees, Tyler decided to step away from the camera and begin a career with Selig Multimedia, Inc. Tyler graduated from the University of South Florida with a bachelor’s in broadcast journalism. He spends his personal time creating memories with his wife and passing along his enthusiasm for sports to their son.