Rory McIlroy’s Magical Historical U.S. Open Win in Perspective

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The 111th U.S. Open held at Congressional was more than just another major championship.  Rory McIlroy’s performance placed him among golf’s legends.

What is impressive the Northern Ireland product is the youngest modern era U.S. Open Champion at 22 years, one month and 15 days. 

I am sure you will hear people say the course was not set up as a typical U.S. Open-style course with the light rough, forgiving fairways and soft greens making it a bit easier on the competitors.  But Rory’s win was classic and not deserving of an “easy course” asterisk. 

There was much more to McIlroy’s efforts than just records; it was how he showed the golfing world that he is a mentally tough champion. He came back from leading the Masters by four strokes going into the last round only to melt on the golf course with a final round 80.  He came back and did it with style, class and tremendous talent. A great putting touch, 310-yard driving average and dead-eye iron play made McIlroy unstoppable.  His attitude, confidence, no excuse approach to overcoming the Masters collapse will make him a contender for years to come. The American golf fans love this type of player.

Rory McIlroy’s victory at the U.S. Open set many records. Here is a list of his accomplishments:

– The 268 total breaks the 72-hole scoring record of 272 previously held by Jack Nicklaus (1980), Lee Janzen (1993), Tiger Woods (2000) and Jim Furyk (2003).

– The 16-under total broke the 72-hole scoring record for most strokes under par. Tiger Woods (12-under at Pebble Beach) was the previous record-holder in 2000.

– At 22 years, 1 month and 15 days, McIlroy is the youngest U.S. Open champion since Bob Jones (1923) at 21 years, 3 months, 28 days.

– Victories by McIlroy and Graeme McDowell mark the first time there have been back-to-back international winners from the same country (Northern Ireland) since Alec Ross and Fred McLeod in 1907-08. They were from Scotland.

– As the third player from Northern Ireland to win a major, McIlroy joins McDowell, winner the U.S. Open last year, and Fred Daly, the 1947 British Open champion.

– McIlroy became the fourth player in U.S. Open history to shoot four rounds in the 60s. Billy Casper was the first in1 966 followed by Lee Trevino in 1968 and Lee Janzen in 1993.

– Rory hit 62 of 72 greens in regulation, the most in a U.S. Open since the statistic has been tracked.

– McIlroy is the first player in U.S. Open history to reach 13-under, 14-under, 15-under, 16-under and 17-under.

I do feel this is a new day in golf, a new dawn so to speak.  We see the international dominance with foreigners’ winning the last five majors.  We see the youth coming on strong with the last four majors won by players in their 20s.  This is an exciting time for golf. 

The Americans will certainly be seeking a new resolve to regain the prominence that for so long was taken for granted before first tested by an awesome generation which included Nick Faldo , Greg Norman, Seve Ballesteros, Bernhard Langer, Jose Maria Olazabal, Ian Woosnam and Nick Price.  I feel the group of international players today is the best ever. 

Golf is better because of Rory McIlroy, whose accomplishments at Congressional with stand in the record books for another 111 years.  Rory McIlroy is a great champion!

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