December 22, 2014
Golf — PGA ChampionshipMonday, August 11, 2014
McIlroy claims 2nd straight major
Seals victory with a closing 68
“Boy Wonder” Rory McIlroy won his second straight major championship and fourth of his young career, rallying on the back nine in the PGA Championship.
LOUISVILLE, Kentucky — Pre-tournament favourite Rory McIlroy recovered from a stumbling start and overcame a series of challengers to clinch his fourth major title by one shot at the PGA Championship yesterday.
A stroke in front of the chasing pack overnight, the Northern Irish world number one regained control after the turn before signing off with a three-under 68 at Valhalla Golf Club for a 16-under total of 268.
Phil Mickelson birdied the par-five 18th to finish alone in second with a closing 66, with Swede Henrik Stenson (66) and Rickie Fowler of the US (68) a further stroke back in third.
McIlroy got within a stroke of the lead with a spectacular eagle at the par-five 10th, where he hit his second shot from 281 yards to seven feet, before effectively sealing the title with birdies at the 13th and 17th.
In gathering gloom at Valhalla, where play had been suspended earlier in the day for just under two hours due to water-logged conditions, McIlroy parred the last hole to win his third consecutive title on the PGA Tour, and his second major this year.
Veteran US player Jim Furyk, a runner-up in last year’s PGA Championship at Oak Hill, was at 12 under, having signed off with a five-under 66.
However, the late starters faced a race against darkness in their bid to finish the 96th PGA Championship yesterday.
Play was halted just before noon local time as heavy rain swept across the par-71 layout at Valhalla, leaving rivers of water on several fairways and pools covering many greens.
Roughly an inch of rain had saturated the course by the time play resumed at 2.44pm, and with dusk fast approaching, a Monday finish seemed likely.
A stroke in front overnight, British Open champion McIlroy ran up a three-putt bogey at the par-three third to slip to 12 under, and he soon found himself in a five-way tie at the top.
That dropped him to 12 under, level with Mickelson and Austrian Bernd Wiesberger, and moments later it became a five-way tie for the lead when Fowler birdied the fourth and Stenson the fifth.
McIlroy, who had bogeyed the sixth after finding a bunker with his approach, picked up the first shot of the day at the seventh, hitting a delicate chip from beside a bunker to four feet and sinking the putt.
Out in one-over 36, McIlroy sensationally eagled the par-five 10th where he hit his second shot from 281 yards to seven feet and knocked in the putt to pull within one of the lead.
He narrowly missed birdie putts at the 11th and 12th before coolly sinking a five-footer at the par-four 13th to join Mickelson and Fowler in a tie for the lead at 15 under.
Herald staff with agencies