RORY MCILROY has certainly illustrated the old adage about time flying with his 10th US PGA Tour victory on the eve of his 26th birthday.
Five years ago the Northern Irishman announced his presence to the golfing world with his first US tour win just before turning 21.
The now firmly ensconced world No.1 overcame Gary Woodland in the final of the 2015 World Golf Championships Cadillac Championship at TPC Harding Park in a chilly San Francisco to join Tiger Woods (24) and Jack Nicklaus (12) as the only players with at least 10 victories at age 25 or younger.
In a very long final day McIlroy first faced England’s Paul Casey in the resumption of their quarterfinal match, beating him after four extra holes. He then overran a very competitive Jim Furyk, finishing the final three holes birdie, birdie and eagle to seal it on the 18th. In the end Woodland was a much easier 4 & 2 results.
“I’m really proud of myself with how I showed a lot of character early on with coming back from deficits,” McIlroy said. “I played really solid golf. My second WGC and first win in the States this year. I couldn’t be happier.”
It was the first time since Tiger Woods in 2008 that the No. 1 seed won one of golf’s most unpredictable tournaments, and the new three match round robin preliminary round format was generally deemed to be a success.
In the consolation final a very happy Englishman in Danny Willet beat Furyk 3 & 2 and in the process picked up US$646,000 and just as importantly an instant temporary US Tour card for the next year.
It wasn’t a tournament for the Aussies though best finisher John Senden will probably be happy with his US$300,000 cheque for reaching the eight man Quarterfinal. He was bundled out by finalist Woodland 5 & 3.
Marc Leishman was beaten in the Round of 16, again by Woodland 2 & 1.
Defending champion Jason Day, Adam Scott and Matt Jones didn’t make the weekend.
The US PGA Tour moves on to the unofficial “fifth major” this week in the Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.
Cadillac Match Play Final Day Highlights Video
Rory McIlroy’s Winner’s Media Conference Video
WGC Cadillac Match Play ResultsWGC Cadillac Match Play Live Scoring
Rory McIlroy: In the Bag
For all those into such things, courtesy of Nike here’s the equipment McIlroy used at the Match Play.
Driver: Nike Vapor Pro 8.5-degree (MRC Diamana S+ 70 TX)
Fairway Wood: Nike Vapor Speed 3-wood/15-degree and 5-wood/19-degree
Irons: Nike VR Pro Blade (4-9)
Wedges: Nike VR Forged 46-degree, 52-degree, 56-degree and Nike Engage 60-degree
Putter: Nike Method 006
Ball: Nike RZN Black