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Rory McIlroy Credits Girlfriend Holly Sweeney for Helping to Keep him Grounded

Rory McIlroy is quickly becoming an international superstar. The 22-year-old golfer from Northern Ireland recently won his first major, lapping the field in a record-setting performance at the U.S. Open. He’s been on the verge of breaking out for over a year given his solid start at the Master’s, Open Championship, and his dominance at Quail Hollow. He’s favored to win this year’s Open Championship, and if he can win one before 2014, he will net his father a few hundred thousand dollars. But the best part about Rory, aside from his impressive ability, is his maturity and all-around likable personality.

After blowing the Master’s on Sunday, he handled his interview with class and said he’d have plenty of future opportunities to win. He took a picture with Charl Schwartzel and congratulated him. Then shortly thereafter, he was pounding Jagermeister straight from the bottle. The guy has fun, practices hard, and he’s an incredible sportsman.

While some 22 year olds would feel empowered by their international stardom, McIlroy has not changed much from the friendly kid he’s always been. He credits his girlfriend, Holly Sweeney, for helping keep him grounded.

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Rory McIlroy’s Dad Gerry at U.S. Open on Father’s Day, Holly Sweeney Missing

Rory McIlroy completed a historic run at the U.S. Open Sunday, shooting a final round 69 to become the youngest U.S. Open winner in 88 years. The 22-year-old from Northern Ireland shot a 268 over the four rounds, beating the previous tournament total of 272. He joined the group of Curtis Strange, Lee Janzen, Tony Jacklin, and Lee Trevino as the only golfers to be under par all four rounds of the U.S. Open. McIlroy also became just the sixth golfer to win the tournament as the wire-to-wire champion (Tiger Woods accomplished the feat twice).

McIlroy’s win was special for several reasons besides the record-breaking fashion of the victory. In addition to Sunday becoming McIlroy’s first major win, he bounced back from his final-round collapse at the Masters in April. Moreover, he held on for his first major win on Father’s Day with his dad, Jerry McIlroy (pictured) in attendance. Sadly, Rory McIlroy’s girlfriend Holly Sweeney was not in attendance.

Sweeney is Rory’s childhood girlfriend and the two have had an on-and-off relationship, but they’re back on again. McIlroy’s people actually flew Holly into Augusta (see pictures of her here) anticipating a win at the Masters, but Rory ended up blowing his lead. Holly stayed at home for the U.S. Open but nervously watched Rory throughout the weekend. She capped his victory with a congratulatory tweet, saying “My fabulous boyfriend has played flawlessly all week! Drink up northern ireland he’s done us proud! Here’s to the sick days tomorrow WOOOOO.”

Her tweet was similar to the final words McIlroy said during an interview on NBC where he said he hoped the pints of Guinness would be flowing back home and that he couldn’t wait to get home and party with his friends. After his performance this weekend, he deserves too.

Rory McIlroy: My New Favorite Golfer

In case you didn’t hear, a 20-year-old golfer named Rory McIlroy from Northern Ireland dominated the scene at the Quail Hollow Championship over the weekend, becoming the youngest PGA Tour winner since Tiger Woods accomplished the feat a few years back.  The up-and-coming star finished the event at 15-under and won himself $1.17 million in the process.

Let the gossip begin as pictures of the young star’s girlfriend — Holly Sweeney — have been rapidly surfacing all over the internet.  The two have been dating since they were only in their mid-teens, and good friend Sports By Brooks directed our attention to the heat the now 19-year-old is bringing.  Here’s what McIlroy told the Belfast Telegraph about his girlfriend a few years back:

Holly is quite shy. This is the first time she has been in the media spotlight and she has handled herself really well, but I think she doesn’t want to turn into a typical girlfriend of a sports person, so she likes to take a back seat.”

That’s probably a good idea, Holly.  Sometimes “sports girlfriends” and wives find themselves being cheated on.  Not saying McIlroy has the morals — or lack there of — that Tiger has, but I’m sure girlfriends of golfers are now a bit more worried about their boyfriends cheating on them with porn stars than they were, say, last year. Sweeney doesn’t look to be very shy anymore to me, but that’s just my opinion. In any event, here are some pictures of Rory McIlroy’s girlfriend if you care to have a look at the better half of my new favorite golfer on the Tour:

HOLLY SWEENEY PICTURES

Sources:
Photos of Rory McIlroy’s “Quite Shy” Girlfriend [Sports by Brooks]
Holly doesn’t want to be a typical sports girlfriend [Belfast Telegraph]
Photo Credit: Flickr