Sunday, November 23, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

For all his talent, McIlroy wins a major with grit

Rory McIlroy, Tiger Woods

FILE - In this June 13, 2013, file photo, Rory McIlroy, left, and Tiger Woods stand together during the first round of the U.S. Open golf tournament at Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, Pa. Anyone could see McIlroy had the gifts to be the next big thing in golf. His victory in the PGA Championship was more about grit. And now the comparisons with Woods are becoming inevitable. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings, File)

By
August 13, 2014 |

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Anyone could see Rory McIlroy had the gifts to be the next big thing in golf.

His victory in the PGA Championship was more about grit.

That might be more impressive than some of the numbers associated with his latest major. McIlroy has won his four majors at a combined 62-under par. The only other players in the last century to win four majors 25 or younger were Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus and Bobby Jones. It had been six years since anyone won two straight majors (Padraig Harrington) or three straight tournaments (Woods).

“It’s beginning to look a little Tigeresque, I supposed,” Graeme McDowell said. “I said to the boys at The Open I didn’t think we were going to see the new Tiger era just yet. I’m not eating my words, but I’m certainly starting to chew on them right now.”

The comparisons with Woods are becoming inevitable.

Even though the circumstances were slightly different, McIlroy had his own Valhalla moment. The last two PGA Championships at Valhalla were all about guts.

Fourteen years ago, Woods was on the verge of going three shots down with three holes to play when a mixture of determination and good fortune turned everything around. Woods made a 12-foot par putt and Bob May missed a 4-footer for birdie. Woods caught him two holes later with a birdie set up by a 335-yard drive on a hole where he couldn’t afford to miss. He forced a playoff with a 6-foot birdie on the last hole that Woods still calls the most important putt he ever made.

That was three majors in a row for Woods, and he went on to an unprecedented sweep of the majors.

McIlroy is not there yet. The next step is Augusta National — the Masters starts in 241 days — and a shot at his third straight major and the career Grand Slam. What he carries with him is the belief that he can battle back just as easily as he can blow away a field.

Boy Wonder can make the game look easy, even in the majors. He was eight shots ahead at Congressional going into the last day and he set the U.S. Open scoring record on a rain-softened course in 2011. He was three ahead at Kiawah Island going into the last round of the 2012 PGA Championship when he won by a record eight shots. And he had a six-shot lead on Sunday when he polished off that wire-to-wire win at the British Open last month.

So he was in foreign territory standing in the 10th fairway at Valhalla on Sunday. He watched from 281 yards away as Rickie Fowler poured in a 30-foot birdie putt that put McIlroy three shots behind with nine holes to play.

“I knew I needed to do something, and I needed to play catch-up and I needed to make some birdies,” McIlroy said. “That 10th hole was huge.”

The 3-wood he struck — a little lower than he planned, a little more left than he wanted — rolled up the left side of the fairway and onto the green just 7 feet left of the cup, and the eagle putt is what got him back in the game.

McIlroy still had plenty of work left. He made a 10-foot birdie on the 13th hole to share the lead. He went back ahead by one shot when the A-list of challengers — Fowler, Phil Mickelson, Henrik Stenson — all made a mistakes. And then he sealed it with a 9-iron from a fairway bunker on the 17th hole to 10 feet.

That gave him a two-shot lead. The final round as so close that it was the largest lead by anyone all day.

This was the most satisfying major for McIlroy because he had to work the hardest. The 25-year-old from Northern Ireland was developing a stereotype as a player who would only win in soft conditions with a comfortable lead.

There was nothing comfortable about the final two hours at Valhalla. One mistake could be the difference between winning the losing.

Mickelson found that out with a chip that flew too strong at the cup at the 16th hole and led to bogey. Fowler missed the 14th green badly to the right and made bogey. Stenson missed a 3-foot par putt on the same hole and never caught up. McIlroy didn’t flinch and wound up winning by one shot over Mickelson.

Why was it so satisfying?

“It means that I know that I can do it. I know that I can come from behind,” McIlroy said. “Phil Mickelson, the second-best player in this era, to be able to beat him on the back nine Sunday, it’s great to have in the memory bank and great to have going forward.”

McIlroy posted a photo on Twitter in the early hours of Monday showing him holding the claret jug and the Wanamaker Trophy from the last two majors. “The summer of 2014 is one I’ll never forget!!” he wrote.

Maybe it will get even better. Whatever happens, McIlroy should now be equipped for just about anything.

 

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

Fairfield-Suisun sits between bay, valley

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A1, 4 Comments | Gallery

 
Teens at Boys & Girls Clubs get their own place

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: C1 | Gallery

Salvation Army gets ready for Thanksgiving

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
New mobile office adds reach to The Salvation Army

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A1

Time to start a local hall of fame

By Brad Stanhope | From Page: A2

 
Conservancy plans Quail Ridge Walk in December

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

Film festival brings people together for good causes

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Advance preparation mitigates frost damage

By Kathy Low | From Page: C4

 
Sudden Infant Death awareness and prevention

By Susan Whalen | From Page: C4

Weather for Sunday, Nov. 23, 2014

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B6

 
 
Two injured in Fairfield shooting

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A12, 4 Comments

.

US / World

Storms raise hope in California drought

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Gambling nuke commander linked to fake poker chips

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

Winners and losers under Obama’s immigration plan

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
Kohler introduces odor-eating toilet seat

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Civic group: No Ferguson grand jury decision yet

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
WWII mementos found in suitcase at thrift store

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Hawaii airline tells pilots to return $4,000 bonus

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Dogfighting thrives in years since Vick case

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Man sets house on fire, kills responding deputy

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Report: Washington toddler shot playing with gun

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Police: Pregnant woman, 3 others fatally shot

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Official: SD man kills 4, including self, wounds 1

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Pope meets with autistic children

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Biden announces new aid for Syrian refugees

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
AP sources: Obama broadens mission in Afghanistan

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

Somalia’s al-Shabab kills 28 non-Muslims in Kenya

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9, 1 Comment

 
Kerry says gaps remain in talks about Iran’s nukes

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

Iraqi forces, Islamic State group battle in Ramadi

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Japan earthquake collapses homes, causes injuries

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

.

Opinion

 
State Capitol braces for budget battle

By Dan Walters | From Page: A8

 
Editorial Cartoon: Nov. 23, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Act of kindness at Raiders game

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8, 3 Comments

.

Living

Today in History: Nov. 23, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: Nov. 23, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Give the gift of gratitude this holiday season

By Dalia Adams | From Page: C3

 
Buddhist community builds shrine in Pineville yard

By The Associated Press | From Page: C3

Caught up in the spirt of the music

By The Associated Press | From Page: C3

 
Hackers can get into everything, including your camera lens

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: C4

Horoscopes for Nov. 23, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: C4

 
Library project puts 50 years of yearbooks online

By The Associated Press | From Page: C6

Metrosexuals be gone: Europe is agog for beards

By The Associated Press | From Page: C6

 
Graphic novel teaching history at Mississippi schools

By The Associated Press | From Page: C6

.

Entertainment

PUBLISHERS WEEKLY BEST-SELLERS

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

 
Lamott offers healing words in ‘Small Victories’

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

Eddie Izzard has book deal

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

 
Whoopi Goldberg writing book about marriage

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

Bryan Cranston reads profane hit nursery rhyme

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

 
TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B11

.

Sports

49ers host Redskins looking for third straight win

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Cousins lifts sluggish Kings over Wolves, 113-101

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Stanford routs rival Cal 38-17 in 117th Big Game

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Sacramento State downs UC Davis 41-30

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Vermette nets winner for Coyotes vs. Sharks

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Green says he’s ready to return to lineup for Broncos

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Bills practice in Detroit prepping for Jets game

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

No. 4 Duke tops Stanford to win Coaches vs Cancer

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Vacaville Christian’s Kenyon voted Sierra Delta League MVP

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B2

 
Suzy Whaley becomes 1st female officer at PGA

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Giants World Series exhibit goes on display Monday

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Oklahoma’s Perine runs for record 427 yards

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Rivalry 150 goes to Lafayette, 27-7 over Lehigh

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Harvard beats Yale 31-24 in The Game

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Bowling results for Sunday, Nov. 23, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: B4

Bocce results for Sunday, Nov. 23, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: B4

 
Bicycle racing for Sunday, Nov. 23, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: B4

Granada clings to 1-shot lead at LPGA finale

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Swiss lead France 2-1 in Davis Cup final

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4 | Gallery

 
This date in sports history for Sunday, Nov. 23, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

.

Business

 
Tips on getting deals during Black Friday blitz

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

Most US unemployed don’t get benefits: Here’s why

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
Businesses cash in as women chase bigger butts

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

At a Glance: Pros, cons of mobile-payment systems

By The Associated Press | From Page: B12

 
Review: No cash, cards, just mobile pay for a week

By The Associated Press | From Page: B12

Recalls this week: strollers, candles, chargers

By The Associated Press | From Page: B12

 
.

Obituaries

Leslie “Esi” Gros

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Norah Dean

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Florentina R. Dulay Florendo

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
Albert M. Ranzani

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

Arthur Irving Weiner

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

 
.

Comics