PGA Championship 2012: Rory McIlroy Leaves No Doubt as to Who Is No. 1
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It’s safe to say that the most unpredictable moment of the 94th PGA Championship didn’t actually take place during the tournament.
Rory McIlroy started playing better halfway through the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.
If he didn’t make that discovery, he might not have put on one of the best all-time performances in major championship history.
The statistics and numbers surrounding McIlroy’s record eight-shot victory are amazing, but the ramifications of that win are wide-reaching.
Beyond the fact that the 23-year-old from Northern Ireland took over the top spot in the world golf rankings, his victory Sunday makes him the first legitimately best player in the world since Tiger Wood was the alpha male in professional golf.
Luke Donald and Lee Westwood have made cameo appearances in that top spot, but neither have proven to be major-worthy and, as a result, don’t belong in that high post. Both are very nice players, but, until they come through on golf’s biggest stages, forget about it.
Just as McIlroy ran away from what was a very bunched leaderboard on a very long Sunday, he’s poised to grab control of professional golf for his very own, especially since he apparently has no serious rivals.
There’s no guarantee McIlroy is about to embark on an era of dominance, but he definitely has the game, the attitude and an ever-increasing level of maturity.
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While McIlroy was the shining star, with Kiawah Island’s Ocean Course sharing some of that spotlight, there were also some tragic characters.
Carl Pettersson played some very, very good golf, but was hit with a two-shot penalty for hitting a leaf with his backswing in a hazard right off the first fairway.
Yes, he made a pair of birdies on the two holes following his penalty, but who knows how things would have turned out had he not been broadsided by the penalty strokes?
And then there was Woods, who was unable to produce the birdies the rest of the leaders did on a very benign golf course. The wheels on the Tiger Express started coming off in Saturday’s partial third round, and the suspension did nothing to help that.
He may be close, but he’s still not back to the place where he can be counted on to make serious runs in majors.
Ian Poulter started his final round with six consecutive birdies, but couldn’t keep it going, making five bogeys on the back.
Where, oh where are the challengers? That’s to be determined, I suppose.
Today, however, is a time to give the king his props.
All hail King Rory.
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