Played the best golf of my life: Rory McIlroy after PGA title
World No 1 golfer savours winning his second Major in four weeks after a thrilling, weather-affected climax to US PGA Championship
Louisville: In a thrilling, weather-affected climax to the US PGA Championship on Sunday, McIlroy carded a closing 68 at Valhalla to finish 16 under par — one shot ahead of Phil Mickelson after a remarkable final day which finished in near-darkness in Louisville after a rain delay of almost two hours.
Rory McIlroy lifts the US PGA C’ship cup on Sunday. Pic/Getty Images
Rickie Fowler and Henrik Stenson had been part of a three-way tie for the lead with Mickelson on the back nine but dropped shots on the closing stretch to finish two behind McIlroy.
McIlroy fights back
McIlroy started the day with a one-shot lead but dropped two shots in his first six holes and trailed Fowler by three as he reached the turn, only to get back into contention with an eagle on the 10th.
"The ball flight was probably around 30 feet lower than I intended and the line of the shot was probably around 15 yards left of where I intended," McIlroy admitted. "It was lucky, it really was.
"You need a little bit of luck in major championships to win and that was my lucky break. I didn't hit a very good shot there but it worked out well and I made eagle from it."
The second piece of luck came when McIlroy's tee shot on the 18th stopped just short of a water hazard, Phil Mickelson and Rickie Fowler in the group ahead having stood aside on the fairway to allow the final pair to tee off.
McIlroy is the first player since Padraig Harrington in 2008 to win back-to-back Majors.
"It's been just incredible," McIlroy said. "I didn't think in my wildest dreams I would have a summer like this. I just played the best golf in my life.
It is the most satisfying. To win it in this fashion and this style, it means a lot. It means that I know that I can do it, I know that I can come-from-behind. I know I can mix it up."
Craig Wood: 1941 Masters & US Open
Ben Hogan: 1951 Masters and US Open, Oakland Hills; 1953 Masters, US Open and Open.
Sam Snead: 1951 US PGA and 1952 Masters.
Arnold Palmer: 1960 Masters and US Open.
Lee Trevino: 1971 US Open and Open.
Jack Nicklaus: 1971 US PGA, 1972 Masters and US Open.
Tom Watson: 1982 US Open and Open.
Nick Price: 1994 Open and US PGA.
Tiger Woods: 2000 US Open, Open, US PGA and 2001 Masters; 2002 Masters and US Open; 2006 Open and US PGA.
Phil Mickelson: 2005 US PGA and 2006 Masters.
Padraig Harrington: 2008 Open and US PGA.