From The PGA Tour: McIlroy trounces field at the 94th PGA Championship
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The young Irishman Rory McIlroy took the golf world by storm in 2011 when he captured the US Open Championship by a margin of eight strokes to claim his first major win.
The 23-year-old followed this up by annihilating the field on route to his 2nd major championship crown on Sunday at the PGA Championship on Kiawah Island, South Carolina.
With a total score of 13 under par, McIlroy was miles ahead of England’s David Lynn who ended up a distant 2nd with a five under par finish.
Once again it was an eight stroke differential and McIlroy lapped the field of 71 finishers. McIlroy broke the record for the widest margin of victory in a PGA Championship held by legend Jack Nicklaus since 1980.
Confident about his ability Rory explained: “I said, look if get to 12 under par, nobody is going to catch me and I was able to go one better than that.”
Rory’s stellar play compelled Golf Channel commentator LannyWadkins to say: “Had he played another nine holes he would have won by 15 strokes.”
The Ulsterman McIlroy came ready to play on Sunday. So ready that he wore a red shirt reminiscent of Tiger Woods and was at the tee box 30 minutes before his scheduled tee time.
When asked about the red shirt McIlroy said: “I wasn’t playing with him [Tiger] and thought I would wear it. Might have to do it from now on; no wonder he wins so much.”
Tiger Woods was four months older than McIlroy is now when Tiger won his 2nd major championship in 1999. Rory showed promise as early as two years of age when as a toddler he hit a drive 36 meters.
His father Gerry held down several jobs while his mother worked extra shifts at a factory to further Rory’s golf development as a child.
Designed by renowned golf architect Pete Dye, the Ocean Course at Kiawah was set up to take no prisoners for the 94th PGA championship. Between its forbidding length at 7,020 meters, (par 72) the longest in major championship history and brutal winds off the Atlantic coast it administered the sternest test a major championship could render.
The first round got underway with Carl Pettersson of Sweden showing the way by posting a six under 66 to take the lead over three players who were at five under including Rory McIlroy.
Tiger Woods shot a respectable 69 to stay 3 shots off the pace. In severe conditions the 2nd round yielded punitive winds of up to 48 kilometers an hour.
By the time it was over the carnage included 30 of the world’s best who couldn’t even break 80. The day’s average score was a 78, the highest in PGA Championship history.
Tiger Woods however took full advantage of the conditions scoring a resilient one under par 71 to share the top spot at four under par with the big Fijian Vijay Singh and Pettersson who shot a two over par 74 in round 2.
McIlroy had his travails as well in the 2nd act as he surrendered to a three over par 75 to fall back to 5th place at two under par. Rory came alive in the rain delayed round 3.
He vaulted to the top of the leaderboard with a stunning five under par 67 to settle at seven under. Woods on the other hand faltered and posted a paltry two over par 74 to stand at two under par, a full five strokes behind Rory at the start of the final round.
Woods would later lament that he had the wrong attitude going into the round: “I was too relaxed, and tried to enjoy it, and that’s not how I play. I play intense and full systems go. That cost me.”
It was the “Full McIlroy” however, who showed up on Sunday turning the tables on Pete Dye’s gem firing a six under 66 including a spectacular long range birdie on 18 to rewrite the record books at 13 under par.
After sinking his putt-sealing victory, Rory walked into the welcoming arms of his father Gerry for a warm Irish hug.
Woods who finished at two under par and tied for 11th place praised McIlroy: “He’s got all the talent in the world to do what he’s doing. And this is the way that Rory can play.
When he gets it going, it’s pretty impressive to watch.” After receiving the trophy McIlroy said: “It was a great round of golf. I’m speechless.” We all know that’s not the last we’ve heard from golf’s next rising superstar.