Round 4: PGA Championship
August 12 2012
KIAWAH ISLAND, S.C. — Players were wary of the winds whipping off the Atlantic Ocean this week. But in reality it was Rory McIlroy who blew away the field at a second major championship on Sunday, winning the 94th PGA Championship at the Ocean Course by a record eight shots.
McIlroy’s first title at the 2011 U.S. Open came in equally impressive fashion as he won by eight at Congressional Country Club. He has now won two of the last seven majors, converting third-round leads into victory twice in three attempts.
McIlroy didn’t make a bogey on Sunday in shooting 66 — the first player to do so since Phil Mickelson won the 2010 Masters. With the victory, McIlroy, who birdied the 72nd hole and joyfully lifted his arms in celebration, eclipsed Jack Nicklaus’ record margin of victory, accomplished in the 1980 PGA at Oak Hill.
Sunday’s most oft-repeated comparisons, though, were between McIlroy and Tiger Woods, who finished in a distant 11 strokes behind.
McIlroy has now won his second major at the age of 23 years, 3 months and 8 days old while Woods was 23 years, 7 months and 15 days old when he added the 1999 PGA to his resume.
And in case anyone was wondering, Jack Nicklaus was 23 years, 2 months and 17 days old when he picked up his second major at the 1963 Masters.
Woods had only played 12 majors as a pro when he won for the second time — three less than McIlroy. But the young man from Northern Ireland’s two wins came by a combined total of 16 strokes, three more than Woods beat the fields in his two wins.
The victory also propelled McIlroy back to No. 1 in the world and second in the FedExCup.
“He’s only doing what he was destined to do and delivering on that,’ said three-time major champion Padraig Harrington. “You know, as he saw last year from winning, he won the U.S. Open last year and he has not had an easy ride of it since then. It brings a lot of pressure with it.
“I think winning his second major is going to make things a lot easier for him. I think he’ll be a better player for winning this time around.”