Rory McIlroy wins second major and returns to world No. 1
August 13, 2012
Rory McIlroy surged back to the top of the Official World Golf Rankings after a record-breaking eight stroke victory at the US PGA Championship. On a week where Kiawah Island’s Ocean Course yielded few birdies, and encouraged numerous mistakes, McIlroy was imperious throughout, and despite strong winds and weather delays across the four days, he hung tough and romped clear. Ian Poulter had looked like challenging on the final day after six birdies in his first seven holes to get within two, but the 23-year old Northern Irishman did not let this phase him, and as Poulter fell away on the back nine, McIlroy increased his advantage further. Justin Rose and defending champion Keegan Bradley also went well on Sunday to finish alongside Poulter in a tie for third, but David Lynn proved the real surprise package, shooting a final round 68 to finish alone in second on five under par.
McIlroy first earned the World Number One ranking earlier in the year after his Honda Classic victory on the PGA Tour, but ten weeks after being dethroned by Luke Donald, he now finds himself back on top once more.The 23 year old took top spot earlier in the year with victory at the US PGA Tour's Honda Classic, before Donald regained pole position with his BMW PGA Championship success at Wentworth in May.
Holing a 25 foot putt to birdie the 72nd for a closing 66, his 275 13-under par total also made him the youngest player since Seve Ballesteros to win a second major at 23 years, 3 months and 8 days, roughly four months younger than Tiger Woods when he won his second major. His winning margin of 8 shots equals his margin of victory in the 2011 US Open, and beats Jack Nicklaus' PGA record of 7 shots which has stood since 1980, while the combined 16 shot margin of those two wins equals Tiger Woods' first two major winning margins. He breaks the run of 16 different winners of major championships and records the fourth Northern Irish victory in the last 11 majors, as well as being the first Northern Irishman to win the PGA.
Chris Wilson picked up a maiden title on the Web.com Tour with a play-off victory over Scott Harrington at the Price Cutter Charity Championship. A two putt birdie at the first extra hole was enough for Wilson to take the title, and herald a massive change in form, having missed 11 of 13 cuts so far in 2012. The win not only vaults him up from 165th to 23rd on the money list, but it also sees him fly up a staggering 976 spots on the world ranking to 473rd spot.
Kristoffer Broberg made it two titles in two weeks on The Challenge Tour after a dramatic sixty foot birdie putt dropped on the second extra hole to deny Alvaro Velasco at the Norwegian Challenge. Having picked up a maiden win last week at the Finnish Challenge, Broberg has followed it up fine style, jumping to sixth place on The Challenge Tour Rankings, and 279th in the World, having been outside the top 1000 just a fortnight ago.
Chris Wood picked up the first professional title of his career on his One Asia debut at the Thailand Open. The six foot five Englishman finished 23-under par after four rounds to finish two clear of the fast finishing Dong-kyu Jang, who shot a Sunday 63, and a further stroke clear of home favourites Arnond Vongvanu and Wisut Artjanawat, as well as Korea’s Dong-hwan Lee. The win sees Wood jump 11 places on the world ranking and up into 160th position.