HOYLAKE: Rory McIlroy has three of the four majors safely in the bag and is already thinking about adding the final piece of golfing’s crown jewels at Augusta National next April.
The 25-year-old Irishman won the British Open for the first time at Hoylake on Sunday by two strokes from Sergio Garcia and Rickie Fowler.
It was less of a margin than the eight strokes he beat the field with to take the 2011 US Open crown and the 2012 US PGA Championship, but it was every bit as valuable to him.
He joined an elite group of players to win three out of the four majors, becoming only the third –after Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus – to do so by the age of 25 and is the first European to win three.
A lot to take in at one time, but McIlroy is a keen student of golfing greatness and he is aware of where he now stands in that aspect.
“I’m immensely proud of myself to sit here 25 years of age and win my third major Championship and be three-quarters of the way to the career Grand Slam,” said McIlroy.
“I never dreamed of being at this point in my career so quickly. I’ll be going into Augusta next year pretty confident.”
McIlroy climbs six places in world rankings
McIlroy is the new world number two after his dramatic British Open victory lifted him six places in the rankings.
Australia’s Adam Scott keeps the number one spot after finishing in a tie for fifth with countryman Marc Leishman on 12 under, five shots behind the Northern Irishman.
Sweden’s Henrik Stenson drops to number three while Justin Rose of England is fourth and Spaniard Sergio Garcia climbs from ninth to fifth.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 22nd, 2014.
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