McIlroy wins PGA Championship with record

00:06, Aug 16 2012
PGA Championship
Tiger Woods lines up a putt on the seventh green during the second round.
PGA Championship
Vijay Singh of Fiji hits his tee shot on the 16th hole during the second round.
PGA Championship
Tiger Woods wipes his face walking off the third green during the third round.
PGA Championship
Tiger Woods hits his second shot on the seventh hole out of a waste bunker during the third round.
PGA Championship
Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland hits out of a sand trap on the ninth hole during the third round.
PGA Championship
Adam Scott (L) of Australia looks over the eighth hole with caddie Steve Williams during the third round.
PGA Championship
Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland finds his ball after it was lodged in a tree branch on the third hole during the third round.
PGA Championship
John Daly of the US watches his tee shot on the first hole during the third round.
PGA Championship
Ian Poulter of England prepares to hit out of the sand on the 17th hole during the final round of the 94th PGA Championship.
PGA Championship
Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland hits out of the sand on the fourth hole during the final round of the 94th PGA Championship.
PGA Championship
Tiger Woods of the United States hits off the first tee during the final round of the 94th PGA Championship.
PGA Championship
Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland reacts after sinking a birdie putt on the 18th hole during the final round of the PGA Championship.
PGA Championship
Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland raises the Wanamaker Trophy after capturing the PGA Championship.
PGA Championship
Tiger Woods reacts after hitting his shot on the third hole during the final round of the PGA Championship.
PGA Championship
Adam Scott of Australia blasts out of a sand trap on the fourth hole during the final round of the PGA Championship.

Rory McIlroy brushed aside any lingering doubts over his ability to be a dominant force in golf by storming to a second major title with a stunning eight-shot victory at the PGA Championship.

McIlroy's first big triumph, a similar eight-shot victory at last year's US Open, was followed by a series of poor showings in the majors, including a missing the cut in his title defence and tying for 60th place at the British Open last month.

The latter result prompted questions to be raised about whether the Northern Irishman was practicing enough or simply spending too much time with tennis player girlfriend Caroline Wozniacki.

On Sunday, shooting a six-under-par 66 on the tough Ocean Course, the longest track ever for a major tournament, he gave a resounding answer to his critics and was not about to let slip his chance to reply to those who doubted him.

''I was a little frustrated with how I was playing earlier on in the year, but a few people in this (media) room were probably pushing panic buttons for no reason,'' the 23-year-old told reporters.

The criticism clearly stung and McIlroy said he had provided the perfect reply.

''I don't think I could have answered it in any better way and to be honest... it did motivate me.

''I did want to go out there and prove a few people wrong and that's what I did. It took me all of four weeks to get my game back and get out of my mini-slump and this is the result,'' he added.

But those words were, typically for the affable Northern Irishman, said with a wry smile rather than a snarl, helped of course by the enormity of his achievement on Sunday.

The victory margin eclipsed the previous best for the PGA Championship of seven set by Jack Nicklaus in 1980 and he also became the youngest player to win two major titles since the-then 23-year-old Seve Ballesteros clinched that year's Masters.

RELIEF

The win also sent him back to the top of the world rankings but the relief of claiming a second major and escaping the ranks of players with just one big title on their CV seemed to mean more to McIlroy.

''There are a few emotions going through. There's quite a bit of relief to get the second one out of the way. I am just so happy that I was able to play like this and win another major,'' he said.

''I think I made it very clear that I wasn't too happy with how I've performed in the majors since the US Open (win at Congressional). I didn't really contend,'' he added.

''I talked about giving myself a chance and to be honest, that's all I wanted to do.

''I feel these days when I give myself a chance to win one of these big tournaments, I can draw on the memories of Augusta (where he blew a four-shot lead at the 2011 US Masters), of Congressional, and now of today, and know what I did out there and know what to do again.''

McIlroy has won two majors at a younger age than Tiger Woods but he was quick to deflect the inevitable suggestion that he could enjoy a similar career to the 14-times major winner.

''He went on that incredible run from 2000 to 2002 and won so many. I'd love to sit up here and tell you that I'm going to do the same thing but I just don't know,'' he added.

''It has been great to back up my first major with one more this year - I can't ask for any more. I just want to keep working hard, keep practicing and hopefully there are a few more of these in my closet when my career finishes.''

It was also not lost on many that McIlroy wore a red shirt on Sunday, matching Woods's final round colour of choice.

''If I was playing with him, I wouldn't wear it,'' he said.

''I wasn't playing with him so I thought I would wear it. I might have to do it from now on. No wonder he wins so much.''

 


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Reuters