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Monday, August 13, 2012

The Limerick Summary: 2012 PGA Championship

Winner: Rory McIlroy

Around the wider world of golf: Lydia Ko won the U.S. Women's Amateur 3&1 over Jaye Marie Green; Julia Boland won the Symetra Tour's Four Winds Invitational; Chris Wilson won the Price Cutter Charity Championship on the Web.com Tour; So Yeon Ryu (the 2011 U.S. Women's Open winner) pulled a "Rory" and devastated the field at the LPGA's Jamie Farr Toledo Classic with a final round of -9; and Chris Wood got his first win at the Thailand Open on the OneAsia Tour.

Rory's 2nd major trophy

Perhaps Padraig Harrington is a prophet after all.

Remember at the 2011 U.S. Open (which Rory won by 8 strokes) when Paddy predicted that Rory would break Jack's record? The press conference where Rory heard about it and just shook his head as he sighed, "Oh Paddy, Paddy, Paddy..." was classic understated McIlroy. And then Rory steps up, barely more than a year later, and blows the field away again at a major -- and again he does it by 8 strokes.

I'm going to quote some figures here. I think I've got them correct, but I'm working from memory; they quoted so many figures on TV during the round...

As I understand it, Rory and Tiger are now the only active players under the age of 40 with 2 majors. Rory also broke Jack's PGA Championship record for winning margin (Jack won by 7 strokes in 1980). And only Jack won his second major at a younger age (23 yrs 2 mos) than Rory (23 yrs 3 mos); Tiger was a few months older (23 yrs 7 mos).

(NOTE: I think everybody's wrong about Jack being the youngest two-major winner; I think Seve was the youngest. He won his 2nd major less than a week after his 23rd birthday -- born 9 April 1957, won the 1980 Masters on 13 April 1980. But at Rory's age, this win is still pretty impressive.)

Oh yeah... Rory finally broke the string of first-time major winners (16 going into the PGA).

So is Paddy right? Is Rory the next superstar, the guy who'll give Tiger a run for the record books?

There's no way to know at this point, and I'm certainly not going to lay that kind of burden on Rory. But the new World #1 is certainly making a case for himself, what with his bogey-free 6-under in the final round, staying cool even as Ian Poulter made a blistering run at him early on. (Hey, I'm a huge Poults fan, but I simply didn't see that coming!) And I think it's safe to say that he's "out of his funk" and back on track to rack up some more wins this year.

But do you know what I liked best about Rory on Sunday? It was a couple of things he said during his press conference. First, when somebody asked him what one part of his game he would have liked to improve during that final round, Rory basically said (and without hesitation, I might add), "Nothing. Everything was perfect." The other thing was when he said (nicely, of course!) that he took great satisfaction in shutting up the critics who complained about his playing as of late. It appears mild-mannered Mr. McIlroy has a bit of a defiant streak!

I like it!

So this week's Limerick Summary salutes the new record-setting double major winner on Tour... who I suspect will have his eye on the 2013 Masters. I think he may have a score to settle there:
Two wins by eight strokes, each a major;
Is this PGA a presager
Of history to come?
Rory's now Number One
And potentially Tiger's upstager.
The photo is from the PGA.com website PGA Championship home page.

2 comments:

  1. Didn't Ernie Els break the first-time major winner streak when he won the British?

    ReplyDelete
  2. I think you're right, Kyle. It had been so long since Ernie last won (2002) that I guess I forgot. Thanks for catching my error!

    ReplyDelete