Rory McIlroy grabbed the third leg of a career grand slam overnight by winning the 2014 Open Championship by two strokes.
McIlroy’s previous two major victories were both by a margin of eight strokes. When Rory wins, he wins big and it looked like the 2014 Open Championship was going the same way as the 25-year-old from Northern Ireland took a commanding six shot lead into the final round.
Sergio Garcia led the chasing pack including Rickie Fowler, Victor Dubuisson and Shane Lowry and at one stage Garcia pulled within two shots of McIlroy after a slow start by the Northern Irishman.
McIlroy wasn’t going to give this major up so easily though. Despite back-to-back bogeys at the fifth and sixth holes, Rory looked in complete control of his golf game, steadying his round with consecutive birdies through the turn and managed to hold a two or three shot lead for the majority of the back nine.
“This has been an incredible week,” said McIlroy after his round.
“Today wasn’t easy. There were a few guys who were making a run at me so I had to stay focused and get the job done. I set myself a target of getting to 20 under today but fortunately I didn’t have to get to it.”
Adam Scott began his day with a flurry of birdies at the second, third and fifth holes and looked to be making somewhat of a charge. A date with the gorse bushes on the difficult seventh hole put paid to any remote chance of catching McIlroy. Scott closed with a magnificent 6-under 66 and was left to rue the bad drive at the seventh hole.
Marc Leishman will be proud of his performance joining Adam Scott in a tie for fifth place. Eight birdies and just the one bogey gave the boy from Warrnambool the equal best round of the day, a 7-under par 65, his second top-10 finish at a major and an automatic berth in the field again next year.
With this victory, Rory McIlroy has now jumped to second place on the world golf rankings and is now breathing down the neck of Adam Scott.
He has also completed three-quarters of a career grand slam having won The Open, the US PGA Championship and the US Open. Something only Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus have done before at the age of 25 years.
“To sit here at 25 years of age and be three-quarters of the way to the career grand slam, I never dreamed of being at this point in my career so quickly,” McIlroy said.
“Especially being someone from around here – The Open Championship was the one you really wanted growing up.”
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