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U.S. Open: 10th hole was a magical one for Rory McIlroy

It was a hole that helped drown Phil Mickelson's weekend. Many golfers complained about it and how it didn't fit the rest of the course at Congressional Country Club.

But the 10th hole at the U.S. Open was downright magical for Rory McIlroy on Sunday. McIlroy's tee shot got over the gigantic water hazard with no problem and stuck to the green. And while it appeared that playing partner Y.E. Yang's shot was actually closer to the pin, McIlroy's shot rolled back toward the hole and stopped less than a foot away. It was an easy tap-in for birdie.

An ace certainly would have been the moment of the tournament for McIlroy, but the 22-year-old who won his first major by shooting 16-under said it still was.

"That was the point in the round I really felt it was mine to lose," he said. "After making a two on one of the most difficult holes on the golf course [and parring No. 11], I knew I needed to do something pretty bad to lose it."

McIlroy didn't, sinking a birdie on No. 16 and a bogey on No. 17 before tapping for par on No. 18. He didn't have to be anything more than solid — although a hole-in-one would've been spectacular.

"I'm very happy with the two," McIlroy said with a smile.

The roar from the gallery as McIlroy's tee shot inched toward the hole was remarkable, as if fans were living vicariously through the ball. Tiger Woods' amazing chip shot on the 16th at Augusta in 2005 is one of the most iconic in recent memory.

And while this one didn't have the same immediate gratification like the Nike swoosh sitting on the lip of the cup before falling in, the image of McIlroy smiling at his father later more than sufficed.

"Happy Father's Day, dad," he said. "This one's for you."

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