McIlroy cruises to US Open victory
22-year-old Rory McIlroy has won the 111th US Open by eight strokes, closing with a 2-under par 69 at the Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Maryland. McIlroy’s 16-under total doubled the score of his closest competitor, Australia’s Jason Day.
It was a week that was dominated by superlatives and broken records.
Rory McIlroy all smiles with the 2011 US Open trophy (Credit: AAP)
No-one has ever reached 16-under par (or the 268 total) in the 111-year history of the US Open, not even the great Tiger Woods. He is also the youngest winner in 88 years and is one of only a handful of players to shoot all four rounds under-par and one of three, who have shot all four rounds in the 60′s.
The win was just the third of McIlroy’s short professional career and marks quite a turnaround from last year’s US Open where he missed the cut.
He has learnt a lot in that time though, having fired an opening round 63 at the 2010 British Open and finishing tied for 3rd plus a narrow playoff miss at last year’s US PGA at Whistling Straits, where he also finished in 3rd place.
It was perhaps the final round 80 at the 2011 US Masters that was the catalyst for change. McIlroy had the Masters to win or lose and he lost it – literally. But like every great champion, he learnt from the experience and just two months later the reward is the 2011 US Open crown.
In any other year, barring Tiger Woods’ 12-under total at Pebble Beach, Jason Day’s 8-under would have easily won the US Open or taken him into a playoff. 2011 was not one of those years and the 23-year-old Queenslander will have to be content with his second runner-up placing in successsive majors.
Day closed out the tournament with rounds of 71-72-65-68 including an unbroken stretch of par or better across his final 36 holes. Day’s short game saved him on many occassions and it is his grace under immense pressure that will serve him well in years to come. His major results so far are even more impressive given his rookie status.
Fellow Queenslander, John Senden, closed with a final round 1-over 72 to finish in equal 30th at 2-over (70-72-72-72). It was Senden’s first cut at a US Open.
Marc Leishman was the only other Australian to make the cut. The Victorian slipped away on the final day to finish in equal 51st with rounds of (73-69-72-76).
Top 10 Final Leaderboard
1 -16 Rory McIlroy (65-66-68-69)
2 -8 Jason Day (-71-72-65-68)
T3 -6 Kevin Chappell (-76-67-69-66)
T3 -6 Robert Garrigus (70-70-68-70)
T3 -6 Lee Westwood (75-68-65-70)
T3 -6 Y.E. Yang (-68-69-70-71)
T7 -5 Peter Hanson (-72-71-69-67)
T7 -5 Sergio Garcia (-69-71-69-70)
T9 -4 Charl Schwartzel (-68-74-72-66)
T9 -4 Louis Oosthuizen (69-73-71-67)
Australasian Final Leaderboard
2 -8 Jason Day (71-72-65-68)
T30 +2 John Senden (70-72-72-72)
T51 +6 Marc Leishman (73-69-72-76)
CUT +5 Scott Hend (69-78)
CUT +5 Nick O’Hern (77-70)
CUT +5 Adam Scott (74-73)
CUT +6 Aaron Baddeley (71-77)
CUT +7 Greg Chalmers (76-73)
CUT +8 Scott Barr (75-75)
CUT +9 Robert Allenby (73-78)
CUT +9 Geoff Ogilvy (75-76)
CUT +10 Michael Campbell (75-77)