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Newsmakers Of The Year

Taking stock of 2011 by counting down the year's 25 biggest stories

December 2011
Rory McIlroy

From heartbreak to glory, from controversy to good deeds and finding love, Rory McIlroy emerged as golf's unquestioned biggest newsmaker in 2011. Starting with his performance on the course, McIlroy followed up a final-round collapse at the year's first major championship, with one of the most dominating performances the game has ever seen in its second major. To many people, an eight-shot win at the U.S. Open at Congressional signaled the arrival of golf's newest superstar. But there was much more. McIlroy made headlines for comments that more reflected his young age, but again showed maturity beyond his years with a goodwill trip to Haiti. McIlroy also made news for firing his agent Andrew "Chubby" Chandler and for his ongoing romantic relationship with top-ranked tennis player Caroline Wozniacki. While he promises to figure heavily in the sport going forward, it will be tough to top the past 12 months. "When I review my career in 25 years or so, I will definitely look back at 2011 as the year that changed my life and laid the foundations for the rest of my time in professional golf," he said.
David Cannon/Getty Images
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