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Rory McIlroy snatches win with a 62

All the buzz about Rory McIlroy came to life Sunday at the Quail Hollow Championship with one dazzling shot after another in a record round that made him the PGA Tour’s youngest winner since Tiger Woods.

Explosive as ever, the 20-year-old from Northern Ireland was 5 under over the final five holes to set the course record at 10-under 62 and win by four shots over Masters champion Phil Mickelson.

McIlroy finished in style, rolling in a 40-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole and thrusting his fist into the air.

“I suppose I got into the zone,” said McIlroy, who celebrates his 21st birthday on Tuesday. “I hadn’t realized I was going in 9, 10 under. I just know I got my nose in front and I was just trying to stay there.”

It was an awesome display of skill that left two-time major champion Angel Cabrera in his wake and thrilled thousands of fans on a steamy day at Quail Hollow.

With a one-shot lead, McIlroy hit a 5-iron from 207 yards up the hill to 3 feet for eagle on the 15th. From a fairway bunker on the 16th, he hit 7-iron to 5 feet for another birdie. Then came the finish, when the kid’s face was bursting with joy.

Woods, who missed the cut this week, was 20 years and 10 months when he won his first PGA Tour event in Las Vegas in 1996.

Mickelson was in the hunt until he had to play a right-handed shot from the woods on the 10th hole and made bogey. When he got around to making a late charge, McIlroy already was too far ahead. Mickelson closed with a 68 to finish alone in second.

Mickelson figured 68 would be enough to win. The roars he heard ahead of him told him otherwise.

“I’ve got to congratulate Rory,” Mickelson said. “He played some incredible golf. He’s an amazing talent. You knew he was going to come out and win out here. He is some kind of player.”

Cabrera was tied for the lead with eight holes to play until his putter failed him. The former Masters and U.S. Open champion missed five putts inside 10 feet on the back nine and shot 68.

Billy Mayfair, who had a two-shot lead going into the final round, lost the lead by hitting into the water on the par-5 seventh for a double bogey and closed with a 76.

McIlroy becomes the first player since Chris Couch at New Orleans in 2006 to make the cut on the number and win the tournament. McIlroy was two over the cut line on Friday with three holes to play until making an eagle on the seventh hole. He followed with a 66 on Saturday to get back in the hunt, then blew everyone away with a round that ranks among the best.

The previous course record was 64.

Scores

QUAIL HOLLOW CHAMPIONSHIP RELATED STORIES





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