On Sunday at the PGA Championship, there were plenty of moments when you thought Rory McIlroy wouldn't win his fourth major championship at the age of 25 and second in a row.
Going in with a one-shot lead, the early fireworks had nothing to do with Rory McIlroy and everything to do with the guys chasing him. Ernie Els was making a run out of nowhere. Henrik Stenson was showing why he might be one of the toughest golfers in the world right now. Rickie Fowler continued to do what he does at major championships this season, and Phil Mickelson brought the drama that only Phil Mickelson can bring to a final round of a major.
The whole tournament changed when Rory got to the hole that gave us one of his weirdest swings of the last few weeks on Thursday, when an over-hooked three-wood went out of bounds and led to a double-bogey, his only of the tournament. Rory pulled the same club from 280 yards on Sunday and hit it to 12-feet, rolling in the eagle putt and starting the inevitable march to victory.
This will be the toughest of the major wins for McIlroy. He was never handed this trophy, even in the last few moments when, in the fading light, Mickelson hit one of his patent wedge shots that nearly disappeared for the closing eagle and a tie with Rory.
This major championship was incredible, right down to the drama on the final hole, when Mickelson and Fowler let, for lack of a better term, McIlroy and playing partner Bernd Wiesberger play up with them as they approached the 72nd hole, forced to do so because of fading light that was nearly gone when the final group finished.
That will be a major topic on Monday morning, but let us not forget the way Rory McIlroy closed out this PGA Championship, shooting 32 on his final nine to win by a single shot, the closest anyone has ever come in the four major wins of Rory's career.
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