Golf punter collects €22k after eight year wait

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Updated: June 22, 2011

County Clare golf fan Brian McElhinney had an eight year wait,but collected on a dream bet over the weekend,when Rory McIlroy won the US Open.

McElhinney saw 14-year-old Rory McIlroy represent Ulster Youths at the Interprovincials in Lahinch in 2003, and was adamant that he was watching a great player in action. He placed a bet of £300 on the young County Down man to win a major by 2020, at odds of 66/1.

After McIlroy’s eight-shot victory in the US Open won him his first major, Clare pharmacist McElhinney was £20,100 (€22,648) richer.

“He was a superb player, even then,” McElhinney told the Irish Examiner. “I just followed him a little more after the interpros and then I said to myself, let’s have a gamble. Even so young he a had a great head for the game.”

McElhinney insists he wasn’t upset by McIlroy’s Augusta collapse as he felt it was just a once off:

“Augusta didn’t worry me because he obviously had the ability and things just didn’t go well on one particular day and it kind of unravelled. A lot of people said a lot of very unkind things about him which I didn’t think were justified.

“I was delighted when he won the US Open. I wasn’t jumping around the room or anything because I knew he’d win one sooner or later. It was nice to see because he was such a deserving winner.”

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