Northern Ireland

Rory McIlroy: Highs and lows

Rory McIlroy was in court in Dublin for a brief hearing Image copyright AP
Image caption Rory McIlroy was in court in Dublin on Tuesday for a brief hearing, but a settlement was not reached until Wednesday

The world's number one golfer Rory McIlroy has been at the centre of attention over the past week - and not just for his sporting prowess.

On Wednesday, he settled a dispute with his former agent for what is understood to be well over $20m (£13m) plus costs.

It was certainly a high for the golfer, after months of intense talks to negotiate a deal.

BBC News NI takes a look at the rest of the highs and lows of the County Down star's career so far.

2007

HIGH: July - Aged 18, Rory shoots an opening round of 68 in the Open at Carnoustie, the only bogey-free round of the day. Goes on to tie for 42nd position and wins silver medal as leading amateur.

HIGH: September - Turns professional.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Rory turned professional in September 2008, at the age of 18

2008

LOW: September - Takes a four-shot lead into the final round at the Omega European Masters in Switzerland, but bogeys the 18th to tie with Jean-Francois Lucquin, who goes on to win in a play-off.

HIGH: November - Finishes second in the UBS Hong Kong Open, helping him attain his highest world ranking position of 50, making him the youngest player ever to make the top 50.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Rory McIlroy played his first major as a professional at the 2009 Masters

2009

HIGH: February - Wins first professional title at the Dubai Desert Classic by one shot from Justin Rose.

HIGH: April - Plays his first major as a professional at the Masters, finishing in a tie for 20th.

HIGH: June - Makes his US Open debut and impresses, finishing 10th.

HIGH: July - Plays in first Open as a professional, finishing tied 47th.

HIGH: August - Achieves his best finish in a major to date, tied third at the USPGA Championship.

HIGH: November - After finishing second to Lee Westwood in the Race to Dubai, he enters the world's top 10 for the first time.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The golfer became the first player since Tiger Woods to have success on the PGA Tour before his 21st birthday

2010

HIGH: May - Secures first PGA Tour win with victory in the Quail Hollow Championship. His final-round 62 is a new course record. Becomes the first player since Tiger Woods to triumph on the PGA Tour prior to his 21st birthday.

HIGH: July - Shoots a nine-under-par 63 on the opening day at St Andrews to lead the Open. Rounds of 80, 68 and 69 see him end the tournament tied for third to rise to seventh in the world.

HIGH: October - Wins a crucial half point against Stewart Cink to help Europe win the Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Swing coach Michael Bannon has worked with 25-year-old McIlroy for nearly 18 years

2011

LOW: April - Takes four-shot lead into final round of the Masters at Augusta but shoots eight-over-par final round of 80 to finish tied 15th.

HIGH: June - Wins US Open at Congressional by eight shots for his first major title.

Image copyright Reuters

2012

HIGH: March - Wins the Honda Classic in Florida to claim the world number one ranking, although he later loses it to Luke Donald.

LOW: June - Misses the cut in the defence of his US Open title. Finishes a lowly 60th in the Open at Royal Lytham the following month.

HIGH: August - Lands the USPGA title at Kiawah Island, finishing on 13 under par to win by eight strokes.

HIGH: September - Beats Louis Oosthuizen to the Deutsche Bank Championship in Massachusetts to rise to the top of the FedEx Cup standings. Later in the month, he almost misses a Ryder Cup match with Keegan Bradley due to a timekeeping issue, but beats him as Europe recover from 10-6 behind on the final day to win at Medinah.

HIGH: November - Wins the Race to Dubai with two events remaining and the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai.

Image copyright ALLSPORT/Getty Images
Image caption In the lead up to his court case going to a full hearing, Rory McIlroy had claimed that a contract he signed when he was 22 was invalid and unenforceable

2013

HIGH: January - Signs a multi-year sponsorship deal with Nike, reportedly worth up to $156m.

LOW: March - Walks off course in second round of Honda Classic, telling reporters he was "not in a good place mentally". His management company later issued a statement saying he was suffering from toothache.

LOW: June - Bends his nine-iron out of shape in frustration in the final round of the US Open at Merion, finishing 41st.

LOW: July - Labels his own play as "brain dead" after missing the cut in the Open at Muirfield.

HIGH: December - Wins first tournament of 2013 in Australian Open.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The Masters in Augusta will be McIlroy's main goal for 2015

2014

LOW: 21 May - Calls off wedding to tennis star Caroline Wozniacki after invitations had been sent out.

HIGH: 25 May - Wins BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth after starting the final round seven shots behind.

HIGH: 20 July - Claims third major title by two shots from Sergio Garcia and Rickie Fowler in the Open Championship, leading from start to finish at Royal Liverpool.

HIGH: 3 August - Comes from three behind Garcia in the final round to win first World Golf Championship title in the Bridgestone Invitational.

HIGH: 10 August - Wins third tournament in succession and second major in four weeks in the US PGA Championship at Valhalla.

HIGH: 26-28 September - Wins two of his five matches at the Ryder Cup - halving two and losing one other - as Europe make it three back-to-back wins.

HIGH: 1 October - Named PGA Tour Player of the Year.

LOW: Misses out on BBC Sports Personality of the Year Award. He is runner-up to Lewis Hamilton.

HIGH: 21 December - Wins RTÉ Sports Personality of the Year Award.

Image caption A copy of the statement announcing the court settlement

2015

HIGH: 4 February - Settles contract dispute with his former agent Conor Ridge of Horizon Sports Management at the High Court in Dublin.

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