McIlroy proving that he can go all the way after winning The Open
Rory McIlroy’s victory at The Open elevated him into golfing stardom. He is the first European to win three out of four of the Majors, and only the great Jack Nicklaus and irrepressible Tiger Woods had three by the age of 25.
“I want be to be the guy that goes on and wins Majors regularly,” said the Northern Irishman following his success at the Royal Liverpool course.
He is 15/2 favourite to add the US PGA Championship title to his resume for a second time. At Hoylake, McIlroy delivered a masterclass. Surging into a six shot lead after the third round, he adopted a safety first strategy on the final day. Finishing one under par for the round, and 17 under for the competition, it was perhaps the best example of percentage golf to be played on a links course for a considerable amount of time.
“I’m immensely proud of myself,” continued McIlroy, now the new world number two. “To sit here 25 years of age and win my third Major championship and be three-quarters of the way to the career Grand Slam, I never dreamed of being at this point in my career so quickly.”
Throughout his last 18 holes, McIlroy looked calm and unruffled, even sinking a birdie at the first. Even when he found the bunker which he did on a few occasions, his play was sublime, and he was able to save par without too much hassle. Fluctuating between 16 and 17 under par all day, the chasing pack produced some high quality golf to try and close the gap. Spaniard Sergio Garcia, who arrived a week early at Hoylake to practice, looked back to his best, and tied for second in the end with McIlroy’s playing partner Rickie Fowler.
The American, who is the same age as McIlroy, has had a consistent season, finishing in the top five of every Major so far this year, and was impressive at Hoylake. He is 28/1 for the US PGA trophy, however he was affirmative regarding McIlroy’s chances of winning the only Major that eludes him; the Augusta National.
“I really don’t have any doubt that he’ll win there,” said Fowler. “It definitely fits his game.”