Ulster Rugby Club and Manchester United may have a new song. “Rory McIlroy – he scores when he wants.” When McIlroy wins majors, he only wins by eight. He’s writing his own history. He beats Jack Nicklaus‘s margin of victory from 1980 and gets to two majors quicker than Tiger Woods did. In a final round bogey-free round of 67, McIlroy becomes the first Northern Irishman to cradle the giant Wanamaker Trophy and the first from the UK to win the US PGA Championship since Edinburgh’s Tommy Armour won as an American citizen in 1930.
Aged 23 years and 100 days, McIlroy rubs out Woods in 1999 as the youngest ever champion and McIlroy is also the youngest to claim his first two majors since Seve Ballesteros won the Masters in 1980. Since The European Tour’s first season in 1972, McIlroy joins Nick Faldo and Sandy Lyle as the third player from the UK to win multiple majors. Even more records went tumbling. The 54-hole leader had failed to win 11 of the last 14 majors and not one of them was this year. Strike one. And this was the era of 16 different champions in the last 16 majors. Strike two.
As the world waited to hear from the new champion, the VIP PGA Blazer hogged his moment in the spotlight and left McIlroy standing while he introduced all the other VIP Blazers. Memo to the PGA: no one wants to hear from VIP Blazers when there’s a champion in the house. “I allowed myself the luxury of walking up 18 knowing I was going to win,” he said. “I enjoyed the moment. I don’t really care if I win by one or eight. I just want to win. It’s nice to break that record, especially Jack Nicklaus’s who is the greatest player so far.” The “so far” part was pertinent. But that’s one record that is a long way off.