Rory McIlroy captured his second major title Sunday at the PGA Championship, dominating his competition with a record-setting eight-shot victory on the wind-swept Ocean Course.
Kicking off his last round with a three-shot lead, the 23-year old Irishman quickly distanced himself from the field, firing three birdies on the front nine and three additional on the back. He capped off his play with a 24-foot birdie put, giving him a final round score of 66 (13-under par).
The margin of victory of 8 strokes broke a PGA Championship record that was set by Jack Nicklaus 32 years ago.
“It’s nice to break a record like that, especially of Jack Nicklaus, who is the most successful player of all-time so far,” McIlroy said. “Yeah, it’s a nice achievement. It has been an incredible week. I had a good feeling about it at the start. But I never imagined to do this.”
With his PGA win, McIlroy is already halfway to a career Grand Slam; all he needs to accomplish that is victories in the Masters and Open Championship. The only players to do that are Bobby Jones (pre-Masters era), Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods, Ben Hogan, Gary Player and Gene Sarazen. Arnold Palmer never reached that milestone, nor did Tom Watson.
“Winning the PGA in the way it ended up on this course is unbelievable,” said McIlroy. “I felt great going into the tournament this week and everything came together on the weekend. While I have worked hard to get to this point, I feel very fortunate to have my name on the Wanamaker Trophy alongside the legends of the game. The test of Kiawah was exhausting but I truly can’t wait to get out and play again.”