Rory McIlroy made history by winning his second major this morning. We summarise the victory and comment Adam Scott, Tiger Woods and Team GB.
In terms of the sort of favouritism normally levelled at the 23-year-old Northern Irishman, Rory McIlroy’s 2012 US PGA Championship victory was a surprise. It says something about the expectations placed on McIlroy when most experts believed he was in a form slump and not capable of winning.
Admittedly he had missed three cuts in his last six starts, but had six top-10s in his 11 starts this year, including a Top-5 finish at last week’s WGC event.
McIlroy almost lapped the field and was the second time he has claimed a major victory by an eight-shot margin. He beat Australia’s Jason Day the same way at last year’s US Open. McIlroy is now back as the number one ranked golfer in the world, leap-frogging Tiger Woods and Luke Donald.
Along with Woods, he is now the only active player under 40 to have multiple major victories and has snared his second major at a younger age, and in less tournaments than Woods did. Woods currently has 14 major victories under his belt. How many more majors can Rory win?But what about Adam Scott, Tiger Woods and Team GB?
It is hard to define Adam Scott’s PGA Championship week. He rebounded strongly from a poor WGC event and the disappointment at The Open Championship, to be in contention to make a run at winning the final major of the year but his short game was poor down the stretch.
He may not have caught a sizzling McIlroy anyway, but his fade leaves us wondering about how deep the scars really are.
Five Brits finished in the Top-10 emulating their compatriot at the London Olympics. Little known Englishman David Lynn finished in second place behind McIlroy, followed by Justin Rose (T3), Ian Poulter (T3) and Jamie Donaldson (T7). Don’t mistake this as experience on links-style golf courses (as I’ll outline below), these guys just played thoughtful golf to earn themselves a very respectable finish.
The obligatory Tiger Woods report doesn’t always appear here unless he has managed to win a tournament or got in contention to win one. Just to keep you updated though, Tiger Woods appeared very much just part of the field this week, albeit tying for an 11th place finish and looking in contention up until about halfway through the third round. His game is erratic though but it seems he’ll be right once he turns off the nice next time around.
The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island
The Pete Dye designed Ocean Course was heavily criticised throughout the event. The links layout was deceptive because it played exactly like a target golf course we are used to seeing in the US. Admittedly, the course was wet for the week, but a links golf course needs to have options to run balls up on to the green. Something missing from the design even when the ball is running.
Surprisingly, John Daly is playing some good golf again clocking up a Top-20 finish this week on the back of his Top-5 finished at the Reno-Tahoe Open this week before.
It seems that nearly every US Open and US PGA Championship is surrounded by course criticism. Combined with a couple of non-golfing friends commenting on the ridiculousness of playing three of the four majors in the US, it’s both comforting and frustrating to know it wouldn’t happen if a major was held on Melbourne’s sandbelt courses.