After spending four days navigating the wet and windy conditions at the famous Royal Liverpool Golf Club in Hoylake, England, 25-year-old Rory McIlroy emerged victorious to claim the Claret Jug as the 2014 British Open champion.
McIlroy began the tournament on fire, posting back-to-back rounds of 66 to earn a healthy lead going into the weekend. Despite being tested on Saturday, he fired a 68, giving him a six-stroke cushion entering Sunday's final round.
In spite of a resilient Sergio Garcia and a steady Rickie Fowler, McIlroy shot a one-under 71 on the tournament's final day to earn a two-stroke victory.
Here's a look at the final standings:
With his victory, McIlroy earned quite a lucrative payday. Here's a look at the payouts for the tournament's top finishers, courtesy of the British Open's official website:
Total Purse: £5,400,000
Putting that into American dollars, McIlroy came away with just about $1.6 million; however, he wasn't the only member of his family to win big.
Due to a bet placed roughly 10 years ago, McIlroy's father won a nice chunk of change. The Golf Channel's Kelly Tilghman tweeted the details:
Rory McIlroy will bank $1.6 million with an Open win. His dad will bank $350K for winning his bet on Rory at 500-1. Equal to a top 5 finish.— Kelly Tilghman (@KellyTilghmanGC) July 20, 2014
While the money is nice, McIlroy's name was also being mentioned in the same sentences as many of golf's legends upon the completion of the tournament.
With McIlroy winning the third leg of his career Grand Slam, his name is now among golf's elite, via ESPN Stats & Info:
At 25 Rory McIlroy is now three-fourths of the way to a career Grand Slam joining some very exclusive company pic.twitter.com/Md4iWsRKci— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) July 20, 2014
His wire-to-wire victory only put him in more impressive company:
Rory McIlroy is the 7th Open Champion to lead (without being tied) after each of the 4 rounds. pic.twitter.com/tI8tgQmOhQ— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) July 20, 2014
After he accepted the Claret Jug, McIlroy was ecstatic—rightfully so. He spoke about the feeling of lifting the coveted trophy, via BBC Sport:
His win was impressive and incredibly well-deserved.
Although, the Claret Jug, a big paycheck and the accolades acknowledged by his peers weren't McIlroy's only rewards for his triumph at Royal Liverpool. In fact, he made quite a leap up the world golf rankings.
Here's a look at the updated standings, courtesy of Golf Digest's Ron Sirak:
New World Ranking Top 10: 1. Scott 2. McIlroy 3. Stenson 4. Rose 5. Garcia 6. Watson 7. Kuchar 8. Day 9. Woods 10. Furyk— Ron Sirak (@ronsirak) July 20, 2014
McIlroy is now officially the world's No. 2-ranked golfer, sitting just behind Adam Scott.
His win allowed him to leapfrog Tiger Woods, Justin Rose, Henrik Stenson and others. In fact, now that he's ranked higher than Woods, talk of a changing of the guard has begun to surface from members of the media:
Rory McIlroy: wire-to-wire win. Tiger Woods: his worst major finish ever. Sounds like a torch passing ceremony.— Scott Kacsmar (@FO_ScottKacsmar) July 20, 2014
Is McIlroy taking over as the world's new dominant golfer?
The idea certainly isn't far-fetched. However, we'll have to wait to see if he can once again accomplish the feat of earning the world's No. 1 ranking.
Based on what we saw in Hoylake, it may not be long until McIlroy does just that.