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McIlroy claims stunning US Open win


Rory McIlroy

Rory McIlroy

Rory McIlroy

Rory McIlroy completed his amazing 70-day transformation from Masters meltdown to major marvel as he won the US Open by a dream-like eight shots from Australian Jason Day with a closing 69 for a tournament record 16-under-par total of 268.

The wonder kid from Holywood in Belfast delivered the golfing equivalent of a Hollywood blockbuster, setting record after record at Congressional as he kept the trophy not just in European hands, but Northern Irish hands.

More than that, he became at 22 the second youngest European major winner of all time - and the youngest since 1872, the year Young Tom Morris captured his fourth and final Open at 21. He died three years later.

Not since amateur legend Bobby Jones in 1923 has this the toughest of all four majors been lifted by someone of such tender years - and with Padraig Harrington saying that McIlroy has the potential to challenge Jack Nicklaus's 18-major record it ought to be noted that the Golden Bear was a few months older when his first win came.

But the most remarkable thing is that it was only in April that McIlroy imploded at Augusta, seeing a four-stroke lead turn into a 10-shot defeat with a closing round of 80.

This was the first major since then and he was a class apart from the moment he started in the same way he had at The Masters with a 65. By the time he had raised his arms in triumph to the roars of the crowd - such a contrast to the heckling that runner-up Colin Montgomerie received at the same venue in 1994 - everybody present knew they had witnessed something and somebody truly special.

Among the first to join in the celebrations was his dad Gerry. On Father's Day that was only right and proper.

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As at The Masters, 23-year-old Day ended up as runner-up, a bogey-free 68 seeing him finish two ahead of a group including England's Lee Westwood.

His wait for a first major goes on and he did not quite do enough either to regain the world number one spot from Luke Donald.

McIlroy did bogey the 12th after driving into sand and, after another birdie at the long 16th, he did have his only three-putt on the 17th. But it was all over long before then. The future of golf had arrived.

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