Devil Ball Golf - Golf

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Rory McIlroy already made all the rest of us sons look like chumps by winning the U.S. Open on Father's Day. Now he's set to blow every father's sporting dream for his kids right out of the water. If he wins the British Open by 2014, his father and three friends will win £200,000 -- about $325,000 -- thanks to a prescient wager made seven years ago.

Here's how it shook out. When Rory was 15 years old, still a kid but already showing promise of being one of the greats, his father Gerry and three pals bet £400, £100 apiece, that Rory would win the British Open before he turned 25. And since nobody thinks anybody's capable of winning the British Open at age 15, the elder McIlroy and his pals got 500:1 odds.

That breaks down to £50,000 per bettor, or about $80,000.  Not a bad payoff, especially for the three other blokes who showed faith in McIlroy. (You've got to figure McIlroy, who just passed the $10 million mark in career earnings, will take care of his dad regardless.)

So how likely is McIlroy to win a British Open in the next three years? Fairly likely. He shot three rounds in the 60s last year en route to a tie for third place; were it not for a second-round 80, he might already have won that one.

The lesson here is obvious. Have faith in your child's athletic abilities, and throw a bet or two down just in case.

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