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Rory McIlroy wins PGA Championship by record 8 strokes
Nicklaus’ mark falls by wayside
Carl Pettersson tried to put up a good fight, though he suffered a setback on the first hole without even realizing it.
The Swede drove just inside a red hazard line. He checked to make sure his club could touch the grass without grounding the club. That part was fine. However, PGA rules officials determined after scrutinizing a video replay that a small leaf that moved as Pettersson took back the club. That violates Rule 13-4c — moving a loose impediment while in a hazard — and three holes later he was informed it was a two-shot penalty. The par became a double bogey.
McIlroy might have won this major before breakfast.
He was among 26 players who had to return Sunday morning, playing the back nine to finish the storm-delayed third round. Tied with Vijay Singh at 6-under par, McIlroy missed two short birdie chances, and then made bogey on the 13th. He rebounded with birdies on the 15th and 16th, a tough bunker save on the 17th and a closing par for a 67 that gave him a three-shot lead.
Not once during the final round did the kid look like he was going to lose this one.
After going back to his island home for breakfast, a quick nap and a change of clothes — a bright red shirt, no less — McIlroy looked solid as ever. After pulling his approach on the par-5 second hole under a tree, he hit wedge off the wood chips to 6 feet for birdie. He came up just short of the green at No. 3, where the tees were moved up to play 293 yards, and hit an even better flip wedge to a tiny target on an elevated green. McIlroy holed a 15-foot birdie putt, and he was on his way.
As for the shirt?
McIlroy was planning to wear red, but only if he wasn’t playing with Woods. He remembers Luke Donald in a red shirt while tied with Woods in the 2006 PGA Championship at Medinah, which Woods won by five shots.
“I wasn’t playing with him and thought I would wear it,” McIlroy said. “Might have to do it from now on. No wonder he wins so much.”
Woods stepped into a cactus while hitting out of the dunes on the 15th hole in the morning, and his day got even more painful from there. He has gone 14 majors since winning his last one, No. 14, at the 2008 U.S. Open. He looks to be closer, with three PGA Tour wins this year and two 36-hole leads in the majors.
His regret when it was over — he tied for 11th — was all about attitude.
“I came out with the probably the wrong attitude yesterday,” he said. “And I was too relaxed, and tried to enjoy it, and that’s now how I play. I play intense and full systems go. That cost me.”
It might not have mattered.
McIlroy said earlier in the week that he only wanted to give himself a chance, to feel that buzz of being in contention in the final round. He wound up putting the buzz back into golf, a sport in which all the talk has been about parity. McIlroy’s name on the leaderboard means something.
Why such hatred toward America's freedom of religion?
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