Saturday, September 20, 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

Solano jobless rate drops, jobs rise

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A1, 2 Comments

 
 
Memorial focuses on hope, healing from addiction

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A1, 1 Comment | Gallery

Vacaville High graduate shines at tech event

By Brad Stanhope | From Page: A2

 
New law aimed at urban water district reports

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3

Travis celebrates KC-10′s 20 years at base

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Highway 37 detours in place

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3, 1 Comment

 
Maintenance begins on Rio Vista Bridge Sunday

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

 
Mother gives late daughter a voice by helping others

By Susan Winlow | From Page: B8, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
 
Fairfield police log: Sept. 18, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

Suisun City police log: Sept. 18, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

 
.

US / World

Record-setting retardant used on California fire

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Brown vetoes diaper changing-station bills

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

Oakland mother charged in cocaine death of son, 2

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4, 4 Comments

 
UC campus chancellors granted hefty pay raises

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4, 6 Comments

Driver of stolen van that hit dog gets prison time

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 4 Comments

 
License plate scanner networks capture movements

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

Feds approve California’s immigrant license words

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
California man accused of killing fellow gym-goer

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

California school gender equity ruling upheld

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
State to ban smoking at home day cares

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

Fence-jumper makes it into the White House

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
3 guilty in Ga. salmonella-tainted peanut trial

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Fierce fighting in Yemeni capital kills 120

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Sierra Leone begins 3-day Ebola lockdown

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Ambush suspect could be aided by dense woods

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
France joins US against Islamic State over Iraq

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10, 2 Comments

After vote to stay in UK, Scots must heal divide

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Florida town knew shooter had troubled past

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Daughter calls Utah doctor a monster at sentencing

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
.

Opinion

Lots of services available for Solano veterans

By Ted Puntillo | From Page: A8

 
Cheers, jeers for the week of Sept. 14-20, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: A8

Editorial cartoons for Sept. 20, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Fairfield Ford boosts animal adoption efforts

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8, 1 Comment

.

Living

Today in History: Sept. 20, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: Sept. 20, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Horoscopes: Sept. 20, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A7

 
Make sure you get educated during Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A7

 
.

Entertainment

 
TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B9

Fallon to pay up, broadcast show in Chicago

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

 
.

Sports

Legs power Mustangs in win over Falcons

By Nick DeCicco | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
A’s Lester holds Phillies to 5 hits in 7 innings in 3-1 victory

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Big plays in second half lift Vanden past Center

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B1

After NFL, baseball addresses domestic violence

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Goodell: ‘Same mistakes can never be repeated’

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Kershaw gets 20th win as Dodgers pound Cubs 14-5

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Raiders could be down 2 starters on defense

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Sharks open with new vibe after playoff collapse

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
49ers’ Davis, McDonald questionable for Sunday

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Stewart slogs through tough day at New Hampshire

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Rio Vista gets easy football win over Delta

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B2

Keselowski wins pole at New Hampshire

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Gordon has suspension reduced to 10 games

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

This date in sports history for Saturday, Sept. 20, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
.

Business

Pabst Brewing to be sold to Russian company

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4, 1 Comment

 
China fines GlaxoSmithKline $492M for bribery

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

Procter & Gamble cancels on-field NFL promotion

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4, 1 Comment

 
California adopts olive-oil labeling standards

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4, 1 Comment

Yahoo rakes in another jackpot from Alibaba’s IPO

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Alibaba stock soars in jubilant trading debut

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

The Kuro taste: Peppery tang and hint of squid ink

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
.

Obituaries

Charles Randolph Orr

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
Corazon Libunao Thompson

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

Allie M. Zell-Jones

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics

Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

 
Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

 
Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

 
.

Home Seller 09/20/14

Average US 30-year mortgage rate at 4.23 percent

By The Associated Press | From Page: HSR2

New Standard Pacific models in Vacaville

By Daily Republic | From Page: HSR3

Real estate transactions for Sept. 20, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: HSR3