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Rory McIlroy finishes 16-under par, breaks Tiger Woods’ record and coasts to 2011 U.S. Open championship
McIlroy completed what he didn’t manage at Augusta and obliterated the U.S. Open scoring record by four shots with a four round total of 268. In beating young Australian Jason Day, who shot a lst round 68, by eight shots, he put the Congressional Country Club course to his mercy. He broke 70 for the fourth straight day with a 69 and finished at 16-under 268, breaking Tiger Woods’ 2000 record by four and becoming the youngest U.S. Open champion since Bobby Jones in 1923.
The comparisons to Woods and Nicklaus will be inevitable now that McIlroy has won his first major four months before Nicklaus won his, now that he has as many majors as Woods had at the same age. “Nothing this kid does ever surprises me,” said last year’s champ Graeme McDowell, McIlroy’s countryman from Northern Ireland, who went out to No. 18 to congratulate him. “He’s the best player I’ve ever seen. I didn’t have a chance to play with Tiger when he was in his real prime, and this guy is the best I’ve ever seen, simple as that. He’s great for golf. He’s a breath of fresh air for the game and perhaps we’re ready for golf’s next superstar and maybe Rory is it.”
“Rory from a very early age was destined to go on and win majors,” said three-time major winner Padraig Harrington. “There are 1,000 kids like that in some part of the world right now that will end up with miserable lives for the amount that will come through. But Rory’s life was set up for this and he has delivered.” Rory McIlroy proved that he learned from his last round collapse at Augusta National, where some wondered if he’d be come back after his collapse. “I told you I got over Augusta quickly. I don’t know how many believed me but here, it’s nice to prove some people wrong,” McIlroy said, stroking the U.S. Open trophy. “To get one out of the way early, you can always call yourself a major champion and hopefully in the near-distant future I’ll be able to call myself a multiple major champion. “
McIlroy led from start to finish and it was wonderful to witness such a great win. He was simply splitting fairways with blong acurate drives and hitting the greens with precision iron shots. He hit 62 of 72 greens, another Open record at 86%. When the inevitable was finally reality with a final par on the 18th, he hugged his father and wished him Happy father’s Day. “There’s a lot of joy with this victory and quite a bit of relief as well,” he said. “More joy, though.”
Among Sunday’s highlights was a birdie on the first hole, just to show he wasn’t going to be giving anything back to the field and a near-ace on No. 10, where he finished about a foot short of the hole after Yang had hit his in close. That birdie gave him a 10-shot lead and got him to 17-under, the lowest any man has ever gone in a U.S. Open. He would later admit that he was trying to get to Woods’ 15-shot winning margin from 2000, that he was trying to “emulate” Woods.
“Just growing up and watching him dominate the Masters in ’97 … just trying to go out there with the same intensity that he has and the same ‘no lead is big enough,’ ” McIlroy said. “I was trying to go bogey-free today. I was trying to go out and make no mistakes and really not let anyone catch me. I’m just happy to be sitting here with the trophy that has (Woods’) name on it.”
Well done to Rory from all of us at Golf Direct and we wish him well in next month’s Open Championship.
View the Titleist range of clubs and bags as used by Rory – view now….