Rory McIlroy had an eventful 2014. He started an engagement, broke off an engagement, surpassed Tiger Woods as the hottest name in golf and along the way won two major championships. We recap his year with the best photos from the last 12 months.
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Rory McIlroy started his year off with fireworks as he proposed to tennis star Caroline Wozniacki.
"Happy New Year everyone! I have a feeling it's going to be a great year!! My first victory of 2014. #Shesaidyes!!" McIlroy tweeted. Wozniacki sent out a similar tweet that said, "Happy New Year everyone! Rory and I started 2014 with a bang! ... I said YES!!!!"
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Rory hanging with the Fresh Prince the first week of January.
@McIlroyRory: Met the fresh prince aka Will Smith today at the golf course! Great guy and a good golf swing!
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McIlroy talks to fiance Caroline Wozniacki after tying for second after the final round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship on January 19, 2014 in Abu Dhabi.
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After a spectacular 5-wood to birdie the final hole to get into a tie for the lead, McIlroy lost a four-way playoff to Russell Henley at the Honda Classic on March 2 in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.
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Wozniacki caddied for McIlroy during the par-3 contest before the Masters where she debuted her pink hair.
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McIlroy shot a 78 in the second round of the Masters and was the last man to make the cut, so he played with marker Jeff Knox. The Augusta National member and course-record holder among members with a 61 defeated McIlroy by one stroke with a 2-under 70. McIlroy would rebound on Sunday and finished tied for 8th.
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Between the Masters and the U.S. Open, McIlroy won the BMW PGA Championship, a European Tour event, and celebrated by spraying the crowd with champagne.
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McIlroy was never a factor at the U.S. Open held at Pinehurst No. 2 where he finished 23rd after shooting three rounds in the 70s.
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In his first tournament after the U.S. Open, McIlroy claimed his first Claret Jug when he held off Sergio Garcia and Rickie Fowler.
"To sit here, 25 years of age, and win my third major championship and be three-quarters of the way to a career Grand Slam ... yeah, I never dreamed of being at this point in my career so quickly," McIlroy said after the event."
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This iconic shot of McIlroy looking at his name on the Claret Jug went viral after the tournament. McIlroy became the third-youngest player to get three legs of the career grand slam behind Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods.
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Rory's father, Gerry, was especially happy with his son's British Open victory. He placed a bet in 2004 that his son would win the British Open in the next decade. McIlroy pushed it to the limit, but won his father $171,000. Rachel Bridge, a spokesperson for Ladbrokes, told ESPN: “We can make a lot of money, but it’s a big risk if one comes through. Unfortunately, on this one, we have egg on our face. Rory’s father and his friends are having champagne on us tonight.”
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With a suit that would make more news than his appearance at the game, McIlroy appeared at half time with his British open golf trophy during the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Swansea City at Old Trafford in Manchester.
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Two weeks after the British Open, McIlroy won the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.
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McIlroy battled Phil Mickelson, Rickie Fowler and Henrik Stenson at the PGA Championship held at Valhalla Golf Club and almost didn't finish his round on Sunday due to darkness.
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In the dark, McIlroy two-putted on the 18th hole to win his second-straight major of the season.
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McIlroy helped secure his Wannamaker Trophy as PGA of America President Ted Bishop almost dropped it.
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@McIlroyRory: "The summer of 2014 is one I'll never forget!! #backtobackmajors"
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Rory and Bill Clinton share a moment over a meal in August. Earlier, Clinton tweeted at Rory: "Congrats @McIlroyRory on your 2014 British Open title. See you for another round next time I'm in Ireland." At the lunch, McIlroy tweeted: "Had a great time today catching up with @billclinton, always a pleasure and education spending time in his company!"
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In August, Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods filmed a joint response to the #IceBucketChallenge to raise money for ALS awareness. McIlroy nominated George W. Bush, Meghan Markle and Wayne Rooney.
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McIlroy joined Tiger Woods on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon after the PGA Championship.
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Before the BMW Championship at Cherry Hills, McIlroy swung by the Denver Broncos game to chat with NFL quarterback Peyton Manning.
@McIlroyRory: Such a pleasure getting to spend some time with this guy yesterday. #Peyton #Manning #classact
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McIlroy came close to cashing in one golf's most lucrative season with a $10 million FedEx Cup bonus, but fell three shots back of champion Billy Horschel.
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@McIlroyRory: Pre opening ceremony selfie!! #EUROPE
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McIlroy dispatched Rickie Fowler during the singles portion of the Ryder Cup to finish the event 2-1-2 and help Team Europe win its eighth Ryder Cup in 10 tries.
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McIlroy and fellow Northern Irishman Graeme McDowell didn't play together during the Ryder Cup, but they put to rest any rumors of discord between the pair as a lawsuit against Horizon Sports, McIlroy's former management agency, has also involved McDowell in the proceedings.
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McIlroy celebrated the Ryder Cup victory by donning a kilt and a red-haired wig. Rory: "Got into the Scottish swing of things last night with Stevie G!"
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McIlroy capped off his season by playing in the Dunhill Links, a pro-am on the European Tour, with his father as his playing partner. McIlroy finished second to Oliver Wilson.
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