Monday - Apr 24, 2017

Rory McIlroy wins US PGA: his fourth major and second in succession


Rory McIlroy wins US PGA: his fourth major and second in succession

It’s been a great summer so far for Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy with not only back-to-back major successes, the first golfer to do since Padraig Harrington in 2008.

The weekend’s victory marked a third tournament success in a row for Rory endorsing his status as the best golfer in the world, a place that he is liable to hold for some time.

The 96th US PGA championship, the final major of the 2014 season, held in the rain swept Valhalla Golf Course in Louisville, Kentucky, witnessed 25-year-old McIlroy decisively come out in front to win the fourth major of his impressive career.

World number one McIlroy went into the final round holding and the overnight one-shot lead, which was rapidly wiped out on the front nine. Rory looked in control of his composure and came back strongly to finish with a three-under 68, to maintain an overall total of 16 under par, to hold off his new this contender Phil Mickelson by a single stroke, with Rickie Fowler and Henrik Stenson of Sweden another shot behind.

McIlroy’s recovery on the back nine made for an enthralling final day for the rain soaked spectators, with the final days playing in held up for almost two hours in the wake of a heavy downpour.

Erratic weather conditions made for an exciting final day, which at one time saw an early five-way tie – between Fowler, Mickelson, McIlroy, Stenson and the promising young Austrian golfer Bernd Wiesberger. Going into the home straight Rickie Fowler another promising young American golfer actually edge in front by three shots with nine holes to play, before McIlroy stamped his authority to emerge as a worthy winner.

With light fading due to the late start Rory McIlroy found himself putting for victory on the 18th green at 8.45pm local time.

With his victory at Valhalla the Northern Irishman becomes the third youngest player, behind er Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus to win four golf majors.

McIlroy started the final day with a one-shot overnight lead and was considered by many observers as the favourite to win a second US PGA title after his previous success at Kiawah Island two years ago.

McIlroy’s Open and US PGA double, added to Martin Kaymer of Germany’s US Open win, makes for first time in modern golfing history that players from Europe have lifted three major titles in the same season.

Despite finishing in second place Rickie Fowler will take some comfort in becoming only the third man in golfing history to finish in the top five of all four majors, joining the fellow Americans Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods, who both succeeded in reaching that achievement twice during their long and illustrious careers.

After being handed the trophy Rory McIlroy confessed that he didn’t think in my wildest dreams we would have such a successful summer. “It’s something that I’m just going to have to come to terms with. I was happy being a two-time major champion coming into this year, and all of a sudden I’m a four-time major champion.” The affable Ulsterman summed up.

Photo credit: TourProGolfClubs – http://www.flickr.com/photos/tourprogolfclubs/8934182923/

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