RORY MCILROY cruised to victory at the 2012 US PGA Championship today to clinch his second golf Major at the ripe old age of 23.
The young precociously talented Northern Irishman began the final round at the Kiawah Island Golf Resort in South Carolina with a three shot lead and played beautiful golf to close with a flawless 6-under 66.
His 13-under tournament total was an incredible eight strokes better than second place-getter David Lynn of England.
“I don’t think I have let it sink in yet but it was a great round of golf,” McIlroy said after being presented with the Wanamaker Trophy. “I am speechless.”
“It’s been an incredible week. I had a good feeling about it at the start and I never imagined to do this.”
McIlroy rolled in a 20 foot birdie putt – his sixth of the day – on the 18th green to eclipse the previous best winning margin at the event set by Jack Nicklaus in 1980.
He also became the youngest player to win the event and the youngest to win two major titles since the then 23-year-old Seve Ballesteros claimed the 1980 Masters.
“To sit up here and see this trophy and call myself a multiple major champion … not many people have done it,” McIlroy said. “I’m very privileged to join such an elite list of names.”
Englishman Ian Poulter threatened early with a sizzling five-birdie start but faded on the back to end with a 69 tied for third at four under along with compatriot Justin Rose, Swede Carl Pettersson and defending champion Keegan Bradley.
Adam Scott will have to wait till Augusta next April before he gets another crack at a Major.
The 32 year old was looking good halfway through his third round when storms halted play for the day on Saturday US time. He was 5-under just one shy of McIlroy and was one of 26 golfers who had to come out early Sunday morning to complete his round.
The momentum just didn’t seem to be there and he bogeyed both par fives completing his third round back nine.
That put him effectively four behind McIlroy before the start of the final round.
“I just never really got it going,” Scott said after his 27 hole final day. “Rory had it in his hands today, and put it out of everyone’s reach.”
A double bogey on the par four 13th due mostly to some untidy chipping and putting was the last thing he needed. The Australian was once again looking down at the putting surface on the last day of a Major and shaking his head.
He closed with a 1-over 73 to finish on 2-under tied with Geoff Ogilvy (70), Tiger Woods (72), Bubba Watson (68), John Daly (69), Graeme McDowell (71) and a couple of others in 11th place.
“I feel like I have played too good this year to not have a trophy somewhere so I’ll be determined in [the US PGA Tour playoffs]” Scott said. “But I think I have to take a lot of stock out of what I did this year in the Majors and just try to improve a little bit. I just have to keep at it, keep practising and, to try to play against guys like Rory, I am going to have to play great. The game is right there and I have eight months to think about it and get ready for the next Major.”
Ogilvy too was looking to stay positive after coming close to a second consecutive Major top 10.
“I am playing well enough to be right up on top of leaderboards with a few holes to play but I need to make a few more putts and have some things go my way. It’s getting there,” Ogilvy said.
Marc Leishman had his best Major finish tied for 27th at 1-under, with the remaining Aussies: John Senden (+2), Greg Chalmers (+2), Aaron Baddeley (+4) and Marcus Fraser (+10).2012 US PGA Championship Final Results