Rory McIlroy 2012 USPGA Champion: The Most Under-reported Major Win in History?

After a stunning last two rounds Rory McIlroy is the 2012 USPGA Champion, yet his incredible performance at the stormy Kiawah Island was somewhat overshadowed by events in London as the 2012 Olympic games ground to a golden halt.

With that in mind; is Rory’s success the most under-reported major win in history?

Rory-McIlroy-best Irish golfer

Certainly, on any other weekend, news of the Northern Irishman’s second major victory would certainly have made a great deal bigger splash in the news than it did in the UK. As Olympic fever took hold of the country, other sports found that they played very much second fiddle to events going on in the British capital.

Such was the saturation of coverage give to the games, especially in the UK, that other major sporting achievements barely mentioned a passing note in the news. Rory wasn’t the only one to suffer either, English cricketer Kevin Pietersen produced arguably the finest batting performance by an English batsman since Ian Botham at Headingly in 1981, but it barely scraped the public conscience.

Rory-McIlroy-golf swing in 2012

So with the Olympics now a fond but departing memory, let’s give credit to McIlroy’s scintillating performance over the four days at Kiawah Island in what were particularly testing conditions.

The fact that the Northern Irishman was in contention in all four rounds is testament to the flexibility of his game. As many of the world’s top stars faltered in blustery, stormy and at times almost unplayable conditions at Kiawah, McIlroy (and a few other of his fellow Brits) produced the best golf to match the conditions.

If the first two rounds were about McIlroy managing his game in the conditions to put himself in contention, then the final two rounds were a demonstration of the genius that he possesses with a golf club in his hands.

During the third round, as conditions began to improve a little, McIlroy began quickly to move into contention at the top of the leaderboard. Not even the misfortune of having his tee shot at a short par four somehow lodge itself in the high branches of a dead tree could faze him; he took the penalty, chipped to within six feet and holed the par putt.

Rory-McIlroy and GGB team in Scotland

 

Nor would the fact that weather delays disrupting his final two days cause him too many problems. McIlroy was up early on Sunday to complete his third round before 7.45am. He then went home and incredibly, overslept, only waking in time to get to the course 30 minutes before he was due to tee off.

The Irishman revealed his dad woke him from his slumber asking “Rory, you realise you have to play some golf this afternoon” and the sleepy golfer admitted when he came round “I didn’t know where I was.”

He did though when he stood on the first tee and produced a stunning final round to move well clear of the field, winning the end by an incredible eight shots. The win lifting him back to the top of the World Golf Rankings.

Former Ryder Cup captain Colin Montgomerie remarked after McIlroy’s win that the Holywood youngster was now deserving of being mentioned in the same breath as Tiger Woods, adding contemplatively “and I never thought I would ever say that.”

So while Rory McIlroy’s 2012 USPGA success may not have received the coverage it deserved, especially back home in the UK, let’s not deny it; in terms of a performance at a Major, it was a demonstration of the incredible talent this Irishman possesses and which should hopefully light up the game of golf for many years to come.

What was in Rory’s Bag for his USPGA win

Driver: Titleist 913D3 (8.5 degree loft)

Fairway Woods: Titleist 906F2 (13 degree and 17 degree lofts)

Irons: Titleist 712MB (3 to 9 irons)

Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design (46,54 and 60 degree loft)

Putter: Titleist Scotty Cameron Studio Select Newport GSS Prototype.

Ball: Titleist ProV1x

 

 

Images by GorillaGolfBlog and Rory McIlroy Facebook 

 

 

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bit.ly May 20, 2019

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