Rory finishes off easy U.S. Open victory|
Bethesda, MD (Sports Network) - Rory McIlroy rewrote the U.S. Open history
book this week and on this Sunday at Congressional, exorcised the demons from
The 22-year-old Northern Irishman shot a two-under 69 on Sunday and won the
U.S. Open by a staggering eight shots. He finished at 16-under 268, which set
records for lowest score and lowest score in relation to par in U.S. Open
McIlroy reached 17-under par, which was a first at the U.S. Open.
He became the youngest winner of this championship since Bobby Jones in 1923.
He is the third player in U.S. Open history to post four rounds in the 60s.
All totaled for the week, McIlroy broke or tied 12 U.S. Open records.
"Overall, the whole week has been incredible. I couldn't ask for much more,"
McIlroy said in his trophy presentation. "I know how good Tiger was in 2000 to
win at Pebble."
It was a championship reminiscent of Woods 11 years ago and Woods was
impressed with McIlroy. At home with leg injuries, Woods released a statement
congratulating McIlroy, who became the sixth winner to go wire-to-wire without
any ties and the first since Woods in 2002.
"Congrats to Rory. What a performance from start to finish," Woods said in
his statement. "Enjoy the win. Well done."
Perhaps more important than any record, McIlroy overcame the horrors of the
Armed with a four-shot lead heading into that Sunday, he shot a disastrous 80
and tied for 15th.
Just one major later, McIlroy went into Sunday with double his Masters lead
and cruised to an easy major victory.
"Augusta was a very valuable experience for me," he said. "I knew what I
needed to do today to win. I put a few different things into practice and it
Jason Day earned his second straight runner-up in a major. He shot a three-
under 68 and finished second at minus-eight, which actually tied for the
third-lowest score to par in championship history.
Lee Westwood (70), Y.E. Yang (71), Kevin Chappell (66) and Robert Garrigus
(70) shared third place at six-under 278.
But they were all chasing second place.
McIlroy preached all week that one of the lessons he learned from the Masters
was to stay aggressive on Sunday, despite having a wide margin. He came into
the final round up eight and still had his foot on the gas.
At the very first hole, McIlroy knocked his approach to 12 feet and drained
the birdie putt. The lead was nine and he kept it there with a nine-foot par
save at two.
McIlroy tapped in a short birdie putt at four, then holed another long par
putt, this time from 12 feet, at the fifth. It looked like McIlroy was in
serious jeopardy at the par-five sixth. His third headed dead into the water,
but it went just far enough, kicked on the green and allowed McIlroy to save
After three more pars, McIlroy was on the tee at the demanding par-three 10th.
In front of thousands in the gallery, McIlroy hit a six-iron just over the
flag, but his ball spun inside a foot. He even seemed excited by that shot and
he made the little putt for the birdie that got him to 17-under par.
McIlroy finally missed a putt, a 10-footer for par at the 12th. The bogey cut
his lead to eight, but he got a birdie back with a five-footer at the par-five
He hit his approach into an almost impossible spot at the 17th green. McIlroy
had to putt over and across a ridge and his 45-footer only went 30 feet. He
missed the 15-foot par putt, but saved a great par at the last to preserve his
And it was an emotional one.
McIlroy said that his father wasn't with him at the Masters. He came this week
and the Father's Day gift was well worth the trip from Northern Ireland.
"I also have to mention my mom," he said at the trophy presentation.
"Everything my mom and dad have done for me over the years, I can't thank them
His father Gerry wasn't the only notable out there rooting on McIlroy at 18.
Last year's winner, fellow countryman, Ryder Cup teammate and good friend
Graeme McDowell came out and gave his friend a congratulatory hug.
"The probability of Northern Ireland producing back-to-back U.S. Open
champions is a lottery number. It's bigger than that," said McDowell, who tied
for 14th at two-under par.
Sergio Garcia (70) and Peter Hanson (67) shared seventh at five-under 279,
while Masters winner Charl Schwartzel (66) and reigning British Open champion
Louis Oosthuizen (67) tied for ninth at minus-four.
But no one was close to McIlroy for four days.
"The whole week was special," said McIlroy. "I could not have asked for
anything more... I played great for four days and couldn't be happier."
NOTES: This was McIlroy's second PGA Tour win and second European Tour
win...He pocketed $1.44 million for the victory...Phil Mickelson shot an even-
par 71 and tied for 54th at plus-seven...World No. 1 Luke Donald carded a two-
under 69 to end at five-over par.
06/20 10:54:22 ET