You can say what you want about the young dude from Northern Ireland, but the guy can putt. As Rory McIlroy got started on Sunday morning finishing his rain shortened third round at the PGA Championship, he missed a couple of birdie putts. The TNT announcing crew pointed out that the touch he had on Saturday had not followed him to Sunday. Boy, we’re they wrong.
After making a bogey at the thirteenth, he had to scramble for pars at 11,12 and 14. He would birdie 15 and 16 to finish the third round at 7 under par, and the lead.
Rory McIlroy started his final round, and continued as he had done all morning, and that was making birdies when he had a chance, and poring in par putts from all distances. He played a flawless round that included six birdies, and most importantly, no bogeys en route to winning the 94th PGA Championship, and his second major in two years. He played the final round with the cool and calm of a veteran twice his age.
His crowning moment was putting his emotions on hold at the eighteenth green while he poured in a 25 footer from the edge of the green to win the years final major at Kiawah Island Golf and Resort by an eight stroke margin. All of this prior to his 24th birthday. He would become the second youngest player in history to win a PGA Championship, the only younger was Jack Nicklaus.
McIlroy’s playing partner, and at the time, closest competitor, Carl Pettersson was assessed a two stroke penalty on the first hole because a leaf was moved in a hazard area. Pettersson hit his drive on one to the right, and into a marshy type of area. He checked with the rules official regarding what he could and couldn’t do with his lie, and was told that it was ok to brush the grass on his backswing. As he took his club back, a leaf floated up, and was on the ball by the time he completed his swing.
The PGA watched film of the incident for 15-20 minutes, and notified Carl of the two stroke penalty on the fourth hole. He had birdied three, and after showing disappointment at the ruling, birdied the next two holes to get him back -6. I think the penalty was ticky-tacky, and for all purposes, bulls—!!. He would have been at 8 under par instead of 6 under, and may have put a little pressure on McIlroys game. Pettersson finished at -4, tied with three other players in third place.
Ian Poulter started his fourth round in fine fashion, by birdieing the first five holes, and six out of the first seven holes. This would get him -7, and only two strokes behind McIlroy. After a bogey on the 8th hole, Poulter picked up two more birdies at 11 and twelve to get him to -8. This would be as close as he would come, as the bogey train started at the 13th hole, and would continue through 15. Another bogey at 18, ended his day at -4, tied with Carl Pettersson, Justin Rose, and the PGA defending champion, Keegan Bradley.
Englishman David Lynn shot a 4 under 68, and end his PGA alone in second place. Besides a nice paycheck, Lynn will also get an invitation next April, to Augusta.
Tiger Woods finished his fourth round, at even par on the day, after a missed eagle putt at 16 that burned the side of the cup, and a bogey at the final hole. Tiger would finish his fourth year without a major championship, and at -2, in a tie for 11th place. Tiger showed us that he still struggles with the driver on holes with the wind blowing from left to right. It gets him in enough trouble that his short game can’t bail him out anymore. The quest for the 15th major will have to wait until next year.
Tiger had better get his game together if he wants another major championship, because there is a new sherriff in town. He’s from Nothern Ireland, and his name is Rory McIlroy.
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