A happy Rory McIlroy gives a thumbs up to the crowd after his two-stroke victory at The 143rd Open Championship at Royal Liverpool  in Hoylake, England. Photo:  Tom Pennington/Getty

Irishman poised to rival Tiger Woods as the most famous golfer in the world

Rory McIlroy with the Claret Jug after winning the 2014 Open Championship at Royal Liverpool Golf Club, Hoylake. Photograph: Getty Images

Hype expected ahead of US Masters at Augusta next April is already palpable

The main scoreboard showing the final result of the British Open. Photograph: Cathal McNaughton/Reuters

Philip Reid looks back at Rory McIlroy’s performances over the four rounds at Hoylake

Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland celebrates with his mother Rosie on the 18th green after winning the British Open Championship at the Royal Liverpool Golf Club. Photograph: Reuters

Rory McIlroy has once again demonstrated his unique ability to get a Major job done

 Ireland’s Shane Lowry shows his annoyance with a  pulled tee  shot on the seventh tee  which contributed to  the first of two successive double bogeys. Photo: Facundo Arrizabalaga/EPA

Offalyman battles back after successive double bogeys to make the cut at Hoylake

Defending champion Phil Mickelson of the USA lines up a putt before securing an eagle on the fifth green at Hoylake. Photograph: Gerry Penny / EPA

Defending champion digs out a 70 that includes amazing par save on the 10th

 Shane Lowry  tees off on the fifth hole during the first round of the 143rd British Open at Royal Liverpool. The Offaly golfer covered the back nine in 32 to return a 68. Photograph:  Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Five birdies on back nine at Royal Liverpool for Offaly man

Tiger Woods  tees off on the fourth hole during the first round of the 143rd Open Championship at Royal Liverpool  in Hoylake. Woods signed for a solid 69. Photograph: Andrew Redington/Getty Images

Former world number one not happy with trigger-happy photographers at Royal Liverpool

Rory McIlroy  chips onto the 15th green during the first round of the British Open Championship at the Royal Liverpool Golf Club in Hoylake. Photo: Toby Melville/Reuters

Irishman storms into an early lead at Hoylake as Shane Lowry opens with a 68

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