He bent, but he didn’t break.
Despite strong challenges from some of the world’s best golfers, Rory McIlroy overcame a subpar start on Day 4 to win his second career PGA Championship in a Sunday thriller at Valhalla Golf Club.
Heavy rains during the early afternoon put the tournament’s finish in jeopardy, but the damp conditions left the soft course offering up birdies galore.
Rickie Fowler, Phil Mickelson and Henrik Stenson all pulled ahead of McIlroy in the early going, leaving the 25-year-old chasing the leaders at the turn. An eagle on the 10th started his rally, and then he pulled away from the pack in the final holes as darkness fell over Louisville.
In the end, McIlroy shot 68 on Sunday to finish the tournament at 16 under par, one shot clear of Mickelson. Fowler and Stenson finished two shots back, at 14 under par.
The win is McIlroy’s third straight victory. He becomes the third-youngest player to win four career majors, behind Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus. Rory also moves to the top of the 2014 FedExCup points race.
As Tiger Woods struggles to return to form after back surgery in March, McIlroy is making a strong case for himself as golf’s next great player.