Rory McIlroy Net Worth: How a Lawsuit Killed It

The Rory McIlroy net worth figure of $63.7 million would be closer to $103 million if the golfer didn’t bleed money thanks to high taxes and a big lawsuit. First, through no fault of McIlroy’s, his Ireland tax rate of 52% is a full third bigger than the tax rate paid by Tiger Woods and Jordan Spieth. Woods lives in Florida and Spieth lives in Texas, which means their lack of state income tax gives them a huge financial break. Second, McIlroy settled a 2015 lawsuit for $20 million. Between the two, the Rory McIlroy net worth total is about half what it could be, despite career earnings of $209 million from PGA Tours, European golf tours and several fat endorsement deals outlined below.

Rory McIlroy Net Worth Facts

Rory McIlroy Net Worth Facts
Rory McIlroy net worth$63,749,874
Rory McIlroy net worth vs Jordan Spieth net worth31% smaller
Rory McIlroy net worth vs Tiger Woods net worth1/16th as big
Rory McIlroy net worth vs Lydia Ko net worth7 times bigger
Rory McIlroy net worth vs Phil Mickelson net worth1/4th as big
Rory McIlroy net worth vs Arnold Palmer net worth1/13th as big
Rory McIlroy net worth vs Brooke Henderson net worth61 times bigger
Rory McIlroy net worth vs LeBron James net worth1/4th as big
Rory McIlroy net worth vs Hillary Clinton net worthTwice as big
Rory McIlroy net worth vs typical American family net worth780 times bigger

Even with a major lawsuit settlement whittling away at the Rory McIlroy net worth fortune, it still stacks up fairly well. Jordan Spieth’s net worth of $77.4 million is only 31% bigger than Rory McIlroy’s net worth, which is seven times bigger than golf phenom  Lydia Ko’s net worth of $8 million. Tiger Woods has 16 times the net worth of Rory McIlroy with $825 million. Phil Mickelson has four times more with $180 million. That’s not such a bad deficit for a golfer who’s only 27 years old. Golf legend Arnold Palmer’s net worth is $675 million. That’s 13 times bigger than Rory McIlroy’s net worth. McIlroy has 61 times more money than 18 year old female golf sensation Brooke Henderson at $876,000. NBA superstar LeBron James has four times McIlroy’s fortune with $223 million. Will McIlroy catch up in the four years until he reaches James’ age? That depends on endorsements but it’s not beyond the possible, since some golfers get $50 million a year from their sponsors.

Rory McIlroy Net Worth Timeline

Rory McIlroy Net Worth Timeline

Rory McIlroy Net Worth by Year
Rory McIlroy net worth 2007$100,644
Rory McIlroy net worth 2008$521,312
Rory McIlroy net worth 2009$2,457,170
Rory McIlroy net worth 2010$4,856,890
Rory McIlroy net worth 2011$8,317,226
Rory McIlroy net worth 2012$14,454,847
Rory McIlroy net worth 2013$26,092,743
Rory McIlroy net worth 2014$42,686,105
Rory McIlroy net worth 2015$49,202,200
Rory McIlroy net worth 2016$63,749,874

Rory McIlroy Net WorthThe big dip in the Rory McIlroy net worth graph above comes from his 2015 lawsuit settlement with Horizon Sports Management. Until that time, McIlroy’s wealth had grown exponentially from a mix of golf winnings and endorsements. McIlroy started earning money from the European Tour in 2007, but it wasn’t until 2009 that he broke into the PGA. That year, he made $849,000 from the PGA Tour and a stunning $3.97 million from the European Tour, making millionaire status for the first time in his life. By then he was pulling in an estimated $1 million a year from endorsement deals, the biggest of these with Titleist. From there, the winnings and the endorsement deals began to pile up, hampered only by a 52% tax bill from the Emerald Isle. Even the $20 million lawsuit payout is not much more than a king sized speed bump as McIlroy’s earnings continue to add up.

Related: Tiger Woods Net Worth: Why It’s Not a Billion Yet

Rory McIlroy Net Worth Sources: Golf and Endorsements

McIlroy, like other top pro golfers, builds his net worth from two sources: endorsements and golf. As with other golfers, endorsements kick in more than half the Rory McIlroy net worth total. The PGA star has earned an estimated $146.5 million from deals with Nike, Titleist and several other heavy hitters. Meanwhile, he’s taken $30.6 million from the PGA Tour and $32 million from the European Tour since 2007. That’s a total of $209 million in earnings. That gives McIlroy an average salary of $21 million and a 2016 salary of $39.7 million. The table below shows how taxes, expenses and a lawsuit settlement chop that money down to the $63,749,874 Rory McIlroy net worth number above.

Rory McIlroy Net Worth Sources
Golf Prize Money$62,771,840
Total Rory McIlroy Earnings$209,295,840
Rory McIlroy Salary (average)$20,929,584
Rory McIlroy Salary 2016$39,789,852
Rory McIlroy Net Worth$63,749,874

Rory McIlroy Net Worth from Golf

Rory McIlroy Net Worth GolfGolf pumps $62.8 million into the Rory McIlroy net worth sum. The table below shows McIlroy’s winnings from both the PGA Tour and the European Tour. McIlroy was born in Northern Ireland in 1989 and turned pro in 2007 at the age of 18. He has since won 13 tournaments on the European Tour and 11 on the PGA tour, plus three other tournaments in other tours around the world. He won the U.S. Open in 2011, making $1.44 million for the first place finish. His PGA Championship win in 2012 paid off $1,445,000 and cemented his position as the top PGA money winner that year. McIlroy also took that honor in 2014, when he won the PGA Championship again and the Open Championship. He also came in fourth in the Masters Tournament in 2015, making $480,000 for that placement.

Rory McIlroy Net Worth from Golf Prize Money
YearPGA TourEuropean TourTotal Earnings
Total Rory McIlroy Net Worth from Golf Prize Money$30,648,229$32,123,611$62,771,840

Related: How Much Money Do Pro Golfers Make?

Rory McIlroy Net Worth from Endorsements

Rory McIlroy Net Worth EndorsementsDespite the star’s impressive golf winnings, it’s $146,524,000 in estimated endorsement deal money that makes the Rory McIlroy net worth figure what it is. A recent MoneyNation analysis turned up deals with nine major companies. While exact dollar figures aren’t made public, it’s not hard to zero in on the numbers in those deals through comparisons to other known agreements. McIlroy’s biggest deal by far is almost certainly with Nike. Figures for that deal were initially estimated by many online sources at $200 million. That makes great, clickable headlines but more recent estimates of $100 million are a lot more realistic, and may in fact be backed up by more recent court documents. Other contracts with Bose, Omega, Oakley, EA Sports, Titleist, Audemars Piguet, Santander and Jumeirah Group also kick in to the Rory McIlroy net worth figures. Most of those deals span several years. We figured estimates for each deal by year and added them into our total earnings model below.

Rory McIlroy Net Worth from Endorsements
YearNikeOther EndorsementsTotal Endorsement Earnings
Total Rory McIlroy Net Worth from Endorsements$100,000,000$46,524,000$146,524,000

The $20,000,000 Lawsuit Settlement

$20 million for a lawsuit settlement in February of 2015 comes directly from the Rory McIlroy net worth math. The exact figure wasn’t published, but most media outlets settled on the $20 million figure. Reportedly, McIlroy had signed a contract with Horizon Sports Management to handle his endorsement deals. Horizon inked the player’s $100 million deal with Nike. McIlroy had said in the suit that he didn’t like the 5% chunk of his winnings Horizon gobbled up, along with other fees and percentages. When he broke their contract to set up his own endorsement company, Horizon sued and McIlroy eventually settled.

Rory McIlroy Net Worth Calculations

If earnings were the only number that figured into the Rory McIlroy net worth story, the golfer would have a lot more money. However, $209 million in total earnings from golf winnings and endorsement deals is decreased by taxes and expenses and pumped up a bit by investments income. The table below shows McIlroy’s total earnings by year. The adjustments column folds in taxes at 52% of yearly income, plus expenses figured at 15%. Investments at 6% of net worth per year take the bite out of the payouts.

Rory McIlroy Net Worth Calculations
YearRory McIlroy Total Earnings (Golf & Endorsements)Adjustments (Losses, Tax, Expense, Investments)Rory McIlroy Net Worth
Rory McIlroy Net Worth Totals$209,295,840-$145,545,966$63,749,874

Think golfers make a lot of money? Women golfers make a lot less than men. How much less? 15 times. Check out our article here on women vs men golfers and the money they make.

If you liked reading about Rory McIlroy’ net worth, try this post about Jordan Spieth’s net worth or this one about Tiger Woods’ net worth. All Rory McIlroy net worth data in this article are based on our analysis of income streams, tax, expense and investment calculations, estimates and media reports and are provided here for entertainment purposes only.


Rory McIlroy Net Worth Decreased by Lawsuit