Adolescence, not known for being the most stylish era for any man, seemed to be as defined by wacky hair and oversized clothes for four-time major champion Rory McIlroy as it was for the rest of us. The difference is McIlroy was winning Walker Cup matches and we were having a hard enough time walking up to girls.
Rory Goes Pro
In 2007 Rory McIlroy relinquished his amateur status and joined the European Tour. Even at 18, Rors looked every bit the pro from the white hat, belt and shoes to the big-time fist pump.
Going Deep in the Desert -- Welcome to the Winner's Circle
McIlroy notched his first professional win at the Dubai Desert Classic at the beginning of the 2009 season. He went on to secure 17 top 10s and made the cut in 34 of his 36 starts.
Whether or not he cut his hair that year though is debatable ...
Never Too Shy to Make Statement
Rory kept it pretty classic throughout his first couple of seasons wearing tour staples like tan trousers, white belts and muted stripes, but every once in a while he'd step out of the mold. At the 2009 Scottish Open, for example, McIlroy rocked a trio of tartans in homage to golf's great Scottish history.
Win 1 on the PGA Tour
If the world didn't know who Rory McIlroy was midway through the 2010 season, they certainly starting paying attention after he won the Quail Hollow Championship. We're not sure how superstitious he is, but this shirt sure looks like the same one he wore when he won his first European Tour event ...
"And the Papers Want to Know Whose Shirts You Wear ... "
After winning the Quail Hollow Championship and finishing T-3 in two majors in 2010, there were a number of new sponsors vying for valuable McIlroy real estate. Rory had long been sponsored by Jumeirah, the Dubai based hotel chain, but he signed a sizeable apparel sponsorship with Oakley in December 2010. Oakley's athletically inspired aesthetic and youthful designs were a much better fit for the young gun and their partnership helped make space for more vibrant looks in the sport.
The Legend Grows
By the end of 2012, Rory McIlroy owned two major championships as well as a slew of European and PGA Tour victories.
The once scrawny lad from Northern Ireland also looked like he was living in the gym, but who knows, that could've just been the product of hoisting all that hardware.
Despite all the success early in his career, Rory soon sought new sponsorship opportunities. The watch companies, banks and hotel chains emblazoned on McIlroy's hats, shirts and bags felt more fit for NASCAR hoods than golf's youngest star.
Rory was on the market for a partnership that better fit the image of the modern brand he was trying to build and in 2013, he signed a head-to-toe apparel and equipment deal with the biggest brand in the business, Nike.
Nike and New Heights
Rory's Nike gear was a sharp and sophisticated departure from the barrage of brands he was repping before. The clean lines and strong color pallet of Nike's looks have helped Rory define the image of the modern tour player and have set strong standards around the sport.
With a fresh haircut and a few flat-brim, Rory continues to tighten up his game and elevate his image to the next level week in and week out.
Oh the Places He'll Go
Rory McIlroy is still less than a decade away from his Walker Cup days but you wouldn't know it by looking at him. The once gawky looking teenager now sets the tone on tour and looks to be every bit the game's next superstar.