At the age of 15, McIlroy was a member of Europe's winning 2004 Junior Ryder Cup team; the event was held in Ohio. In 2005, McIlroy became the youngest-ever winner of both the West of Ireland Championship and the Irish Close Championship. He retained the West of Ireland Championship in 2006 and followed that up with back-to-back wins at the Irish Close Championship. In August 2006, he won the European Amateur at Biella Golf Club, near Milan, Italy with the score of 274.
In late 2004, at age 15, he signed a letter of intent to play collegiate golf at East Tennessee State University, but after his wins in 2005, he decided to forgo the golf scholarship and continue to play amateur golf in Europe. McIlroy shot an opening round of 3-under-par 68 at the 2007 Open Championship at Carnoustie, his first major championship entry. He shot +5 overall and was the highest finishing amateur, winning the silver medal.
In July 2005, at age 16, McIlroy shot a new competitive course record score of 61 on the Dunluce links of Royal Portrush Golf Club. In October 2006, McIlroy represented Ireland in the Eisenhower Trophy, which is the Amateur World Team Championship. On 6 February 2007, he became the second man to top the World Amateur Golf Ranking, though he lost the top spot after just one week.
McIlroy was part of the Great Britain & Ireland team at the 2007 Walker Cup, held at the Royal County Down Golf Club. On the first day of the event he was paired with Jonathan Caldwell for morning foursomes, and the match was halved. In the afternoon he faced Billy Horschel in singles, but Horschel won 1 up. On the second day McIlroy and Caldwell lost in morning foursomes by the score of 2 & 1. In the afternoon he faced Horschel in singles again, and this time he won by the score of 1 up. McIlroy's overall record was (1–2–1) in Win-Loss-Tie format. The United States came out victorious by a score of 12½ to 11½.
McIlroy made his first appearance in a European Tour event a few days after turning 16, when he took part in the 2005 British Masters. He made the cut on the European Tour for the first time as a 17-year-old at the 2007 Dubai Desert Classic, where he had to forego prize money of over €7,600 due to his amateur status.
Read more about this topic: Rory Mc Ilroy
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