Rory's The Story at The Ocean Course
Call it the Snore by the Shore. Twenty-one years after the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island brought the world's greatest players to their knees at the 1991 Ryder Cup in the famed "War by the Shore," Rory McIlroy turned the tables on Pete Dye's seaside creation, subduing the Ocean Course and an elite field in winning his second major championship in two years. In posting 13-under and winning by eight strokes, McIlroy reprised his eight-shot win at the 2011 U.S. Open, becoming the first player in golf history to earn his first two major wins in such dominant fashion.
Glory's Last Shot was Rory's personal showcase, as he destroyed the recent trend of late collapses with a textbook display of major championship golf — fairways, greens and made putts, with a few successful scrambles thrown in.
There would be no Adam Scott-style meltdown, no Jim Furyk-esque collapse. No, the only guys doing the collapsing were the guys chasing Rory. Tiger Woods, after entering another weekend tied for the lead in a major, faded to a 74-72 finish and played the year's four majors without an under-par weekend round in any of them. After turning back the clock on Thursday and Friday, Vijay Singh realized he was 49 and eight years removed from his last major, ballooning to a 74-77 weekend.
In the process of reclaiming the No. 1 spot in the World Golf Ranking, McIlroy added these distinctions to his ever-expanding resume:
• At 23 years, three months, McIlroy is the youngest player to win the PGA Championship.
• He's the second-youngest to win two majors. Jack Nicklaus was one month younger, when he won his second; Tiger was four months older.
• His eight-shot margin broke Nicklaus' record of seven set in 1980.
When you're erasing Jack Nicklaus from the record books at age 23, the future is looking pretty bright.
• Ian Poulter mounted the only real charge of the day, posting birdies on his first five holes. The onslaught didn't last, though, as the Ocean Course bit back on the inward 9 and Poulter limped in with bogeys on four of his last six holes. Poulter, one of the more savvy users of social media, immediately took to Twitter after his round to say: "Sorry guys I gave it my all but the tank was empty at the end. What a dream start I just couldn't hang on. @McIlroyRory congrats impressive."
• Perhaps Team USA used up all the positive American energy over in London. Keegan Bradley came in as low American in an otherwise dismal showing by U.S. players. The defending champion, Bradley finished tied for third at 4-under following a final-round 68.
• Carl Pettersson proved once again that golf's rules, while cherished and reverently observed by players, can be stupid and severe. Carl committed the apparently unforgivable sin of moving a leaf during a backswing on the first hole of his final round, costing himself two strokes. Fortunately for the integrity of the Wanamaker Trophy, Pettersson didn't finish two shots behind.
• A drama-free PGA was also dull in terms of U.S. Ryder Cup points movement, but a poor showing by the U.S. contingent had to sound the alarm on the American side. Only eight of the top 20 finishers were of American vintage. After dotting the leaderboards at the season's first three majors, the Americans are likely the underdogs once again as the Ryder Cup approaches.
• Next, Rory turns his attention to the U.S. Open — the tennis kind. Girlfriend Caroline Wozniacki will attempt to reclaim her share of the glory in sports' power couple of the moment.