Second major and counting
The winner of the 2012 PGA Championship on Sunday at Kiawah Island, S.C. was donning a red shirt, but his initials were not T.W.
The man in red holding the Wanamaker Trophy was the 23-year-old from Northern Ireland, Rory McIlroy.
McIlroy won his second major on Sunday in the same dominating fashion that he won his first major at the 2011 U.S. Open. Just as he obliterated the field at Congressional, winning by an eight-stroke margin, he matched that by effort with an eight-stroke victory at Kiawah Island.
Let's take a look at Rory McIlroy over the course (no pun intended) of the 2012 PGA Championship.
head down and focused
In the opening round of the PGA Championship, young Rory McIlroy shot a 67 on the intimidating Ocean Course.
According to an ESPN article by Gene Wojciechowski, Rory McIlroy knew he would have to get off to a hot start in this Major Championship:
"I really thought that I had to take advantage of the conditions," said McIlroy, who did just that in a bogey-free round of 67, fresh signs that the 23-year-old from Northern Ireland might be ready to end his major season on a high note.
Windy conditions tested McIlroy
McIlroy followed up his impressive 67 on Thursday with a 75 on Friday at Kiawah. In a round where he didn't make his first birdie until the 14th hole, he wasn't alone in the struggle.
Friday's round was a historical one as winds reached 30 miles per hour.
It looked like the Rory was playing in a wind tunnel at times. Despite the fact that his struggles came in such extreme conditions, a small part of me enjoyed watching the man who golf experts say has the perfect swing, have a tough day.
Let's keep things in perspective though, most of us would love to score a 75 and deem that a tough day.
Saturday, Mother Nature grabbed the spotlight again, but not before McIlroy did.
The third round of play at the 2012 PGA Championship was prematurely ended because of thunderstorms. Before that happened, McIlroy managed to go out and birdie five of the eight holes he played.
You got the sense that McIlroy had it all going on Saturday because even after finding his tee shot on the par-4 third hole wedged in a tree limb, he still got it up-and-down for par after taking the drop.
On top of the golfing world
Nothing was going to deter McIlroy heading into Sunday of the year's final major.
Despite Saturday's thunderstorms that stopped play, it was going to take a lot more than an earlier start to his day to rattle the 23-year-old.
McIlroy picked up where he left off from the rain-soaked Saturday, tacking on two more birdies en route to the completion of his third round early Sunday morning.
As if finishing his two day long third round at seven-under par for the tournament wasn't impressive enough, he went out and posted a six-under 66 in his final round to give him a final score of 13-under and the title of 2012 PGA Champion.
As McIlroy rolled that birdie in on 18, breaking Jack Nicklaus' 22-year-old record for biggest margin of victory in a PGA Championship, I could only watch in amazement.
The way he embraced his dad after he won on Sunday, and doing so while wearing a red shirt, it was eerie how it reminded you of a young Tiger Woods.
According to an article by Gary Van Sickle of Sports Illustrated, he details the record pace that McIlroy is on for winning majors.
McIlroy is now ahead of the major pace of Woods. McIlroy turned 23 three months ago; Woods won his second major, the 1999 PGA at Medinah, when he was 23 years, 7 months old.
One can only wonder what's next for the young star.