Rory McIlroy once again showed why he is one of the best in the sport after winning the 2014 British Open.
This is the third career major title for the 25-year-old star, adding the Claret Jug to his trophy case that also includes U.S. Open and PGA Championship titles.
ESPN's Sportscenter Twitter account reported the news:
Rory McIlroy wins The Open Championship. McIlroy finishes 17-under to capture 3rd career major title. pic.twitter.com/sj6cCiheAk— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) July 20, 2014
Following the victory, McIlroy commented on his achievement to BBC Sport:
Just weeks after being cut from the Irish Open, McIlroy bounced back with a strong performance at the Scottish Open, where he tied for 14th. The golfer then kept the momentum going at Royal Liverpool, finishing at 17 under par. This was enough to remain ahead of Sergio Garcia and Rickie Fowler by two strokes.
Trey Wingo of ESPN weighed in on McIlroy's memorable triumph, marking a second win on European soil this year:
Perspective : Rory is about to do in his mid 20s what it took Phil til his early 40s to do.. Win 3/4 of the career grand slam— trey wingo (@wingoz) July 20, 2014
McIlroy becomes the third champion in a row to come into the tournament with multiple major wins after Phil Mickelson and Ernie Els won the past two years.
Justin Ray of Golf Channel also weighed in on McIlroy's performance:
Rory McIlroy is the youngest player in golf history to win multiple majors wire-to-wire with no ties.— Justin Ray (@JustinRayGC) July 20, 2014
The young man who overcame a blown Masters lead to win the 2011 U.S. Open and a summer slump to run away with the 2012 PGA Championship has produced a similar comeback story after an inconsistent two years for the 2014 Open Championship.
Although his tee-to-green game had been solid all season, the big problem for McIlroy had been his short game. That wasn't much of an issue this weekend, as McIlroy made timely putts in addition to maintaining his stupendous ball-striking.
This was also one of his best performances ever on a links course, especially considering he missed the cut at last year's Open Championship with a score of 12 strokes over par in two rounds. He discussed his willingness to work on the issue, via Mark Tallentire of The Guardian:
If anything, I don’t think I’ve evolved that much as a links player, but I’ve been trying, especially the last few weeks, to play some shots, really practise hard on some of the shots that I might need this week. The Open is a tournament that is very important to me and my record hasn’t been as good as I’d like.
With his impressive performance through four days, it is clear he is now back on track. The question is whether he can keep this consistency to help earn further wins in the weeks to come. It will certainly be easier now that he has cashed in on his strong long game by complementing it with better touch around the greens.
Will Rory McIlroy complete his career Grand Slam with a Masters title?
There are a few more big stops on the horizon for McIlroy, but it will all be in preparation for the final major of the year, the PGA Championship. Based on his recent triumph and the fact it is an event he has won in the past, McIlroy should be one of the favorites to take home that title.
In any event, the superstar can press on with an immense amount of confidence. He has made yet another promising step forward in his exciting career. All he has to avert is a letdown after the ecstatic emotions he has to be feeling after earning his third major title.