Golf

Top of the world: The rise and rise of Rory

Updated 1352 GMT (2152 HKT) March 29, 2012
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Rory McIlroy has risen to the top of golf's world rankings after winning the Honda Classic in Florida on Sunday. It caps a remarkable rise for the 22-year-old Northern Irishman in recent years. Here he is as a 14-year-old playing at the Boys Home Internationals at the Royal St David's Golf Club in Wales in August 2003. Getty Images
McIlroy got into the winning habit early, finishing top in the Under-15 boys competition of Nick Faldo's junior golf series in 2004. The following year he would shoot a course record 61 at the Dunluce links at Royal Portrush Golf Club in Northern Ireland. His astonishing eleven-under par total included nine birdies and an eagle. Getty Images
McIlroy finishes as low amateur at the 2007 Open Championship held at Carnoustie, Scotland. Getty Images
Look behind you! Rory McIlroy and Luke Donald at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in 2007 where the Northen Irishman finished third to mark his arrival in the professional ranks. Getty Images
A dejected McIlroy reflects on a missed putt during a playoff at the 2008 Omega Masters in Switzerland. The 19-year-old narrowly missed out on his first European Tour win losing out to Jean-Francois Lucquin from France. Getty Images
Three months before his 20th birthday, McIlroy claimed his first European Tour title winning the Dubai Desert Classic in February 2009, beating England's Justin Rose by a single shot. AFP/Getty Images
McIlroy claimed his first PGA Tour victory at the Quail Hollow Championship thanks to a stunning final round of 62 in May 2010. Getty Images
His debut in the Ryder Cup was equally successful as Europe beat the U.S. team at Celtic Manor Resort, Wales in October 2010. His paring with fellow countryman Graeme McDowell was one of the highlights of the match. Getty Images
McIlroy celebrates Europe's win (by one point) over the U.S. team with teammate Padraig Harrington (left) and vice-captain, Spain's Sergio Garcia. Getty Images
Masters disaster. McIlroy chips out from the trees on the 10th hole during the final round of the 2011 Masters at Augusta National Golf Club. He sqaundered a four-shot lead in the final round to eventually finish in a tie for 15th. Getty Images
Major winner: McIlroy bounced back from his Masters collapse in amazing fashion winning the U.S. Open in a record low aggregate score of 268. Getty Images
Top of the world: McIlroy's victory at the Honda Classic has seen him replace England's Luke Donald at the top of the world rankings. Getty Images