16 May 2021

US PGA Championship Flashback – Record-breaking McIlroy cruises to second Major triumph

The last time Kiawah Island hosted the US PGA Championship in 2012, Rory McIlroy cruised to a record-breaking eight stroke victory over unheralded David Lynn to return to World No.1.

The Northern Irishman started the week with an impressive five under par 67 to sit just one stroke behind Sweden’s Carl Pettersson in a share of second. The following day, McIlroy’s game was put to the test as he battled against the gusty conditions on what was the toughest scoring day on record since the championship assumed a strokeplay format in 1958, with the average round scoring more than 78.

But while many of McIlroy’s peers were bullied by Kiawah Island at its wildest, the then 23 year old grinded his way to a three over par 75 to remain in contention with Pettersen, Vijay Singh and Tiger Woods occupying top spot just two shots ahead.

Scoring was a little easier at the start of the third round as McIlroy mastered the Ocean Course with five birdies in his opening eight holes moving him to the top of the pile. The weather conditions then took a turn for the worse with a fierce thunderstorm blowing in late in the afternoon to postpone play for the day, moments after McIlroy bogeyed the ninth to allow Singh to take a share of the lead.

McIlroy returned for the final day earlier than scheduled to complete his third round with birdies on the 15th and 16th opening up a three-shot lead over Petterssen heading into the last round with Singh slumping to a third round 74 to fall five shots back.

The 2011 U.S. Open champion then produced one of the finest final round displays in Major Championship history as he carded a six under par 66 in South Carolina to win by eight strokes to become the youngest winner of the tournament since 1958.

Not content with writing his name in the history books for the biggest winning margin and the youngest winner of the event, McIlroy’s triumph was also the first win by a Brit since Jim Barnes won the first two tournaments in 1916 and 1919 when it was a matchplay event.

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