Rory McIlroy's Dad Cashes $340,000 Ticket Gambling on His Then-Teenage Son

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As parents, true belief in your child is a difficult thing to quantify.

As parents, if our children have hopes and dreams, we outwardly believe in them and we encourage them unconditionally to chase those dreams until society, an employer or the authorities tell them not to.

But what if we had to put our hard-earned money where our hearts and mouths are? Would we be as steadfast?

In America, it's never come to that. We can't bet on our kids (sadly). However, overseas, you can apparently express and quantify your convictions via that most clarifying of routes -- the futures bet!

This apparently is occurs with regularity over in Europe, where it's tradition for many fathers to bet on their sons scoring a goal in the World Cup by age whatever, or in the case of Gerry McIlroy, father of 2014 British Open champion Rory McIlroy, betting on his son to win the Open Championship before he turns 26.

Yes, this happened, and yes, it appears Gerry McIlroy is going to cash in!

According to a story that made the rounds on several outlets this weekend, the elder McIlroy placed a £400 wager when Rory was 15 years old, split four ways with three of his buddies, that his son would win the Open Championship (that's European for what we like to call the British Open) before he turned 26.

Here, courtesy of the BBC's Andrew Cotter's Twitter feed, is an overview and confirmation from Rory McIlroy himself:

As you probably saw, McIlroy won the Open in the least stressful fashion possible over the weekend, never trailing at any point wire to wire, and the only hiccup on Sunday was a glitch mid-round that allowed Sergio Garcia to creep within two strokes. However, even then, especially knowing it was Garcia chasing (FYI, as a golf closer, Garcia is the equivalent of the mouth-breathing family member who can't get 50 points to close out the bonus round on

Family Feud

.), McIlroy never really had any heat on him.

So now, Gerry McIlroy and his three drinkin' buddies (assuming he didn't buy out their shares and they're all still alive) can cash their ticket, £200,000 richer, which at today's exchange rate is around $340,000.

As McIlroy accepted the trophy for his performance this weekend, he acknowledged his mother in the crowd and dedicated the victory to her, ignoring (publicly, at least) the most loving gesture of belief a parent could show his child -- the futures bet made by an adoring father. Somewhere, I'd like to think during Rory's maternal dedication that Gerry McIlroy looked at his television, muttered "whatever," lit a cigar with a $100 bill and resumed rolling around naked on a bed covered in money.

Meanwhile, my older two kids (16-year-old boy/girl twins) are getting ready to take the ACT this fall. I just got down on both of them cracking 30.5 at +250.


Now, crack the books. Immediately.

Listen to Sean Pendergast on SportsRadio 610 from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays. Also, follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SeanCablinasian.

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