Rory McIlroy admits wanting to 'prove a few people wrong' after winning US PGA

 

Rory McIlroy was savouring yet another major masterclass today - and just loving the fact that he had proved some people wrong about him.

Fourteen months after winning the US Open by a massive eight shots, the 23-year-old Northern Irishman astonishingly did the same in the USPGA Championship at Kiawah Island last night.

McIlroy's first major title had come with a record score and his second was by a record margin in the event, beating the seven strokes of Jack Nicklaus in 1970.

More than that, the Holywood golfer - now starting his fourth reign as world number one and intent on making it a longer one than the first three - had become a multiple major winner at a younger age than Nicklaus, Tiger Woods and all but four players in golf history.

Those four were Young Tom Morris in the 1860s, John McDermott and Gene Sarazen just before and after the First World War and Seve Ballesteros.

As satisfying as all that is, McIlroy took extra pleasure in winning so emphatically so soon after questions were being asked about where his career was heading - not surprisingly given he missed four halfway cuts in five starts.

"A few people in this room were probably pressing panic buttons for no reason," the biggest young talent in the game told a crowded press conference.

"I don't think I could have answered it in any better way - and yeah, to be honest, it did motivate me.

"I did want to go out there and prove a few people wrong.

"That's what I did. It took me all of four weeks to get my game back in shape and get out of my mini slump - and this is the result.

"To sit up here and see this trophy and call myself a multiple major champion... not many people have done it and I'm very privileged to join such an elite list of names."

McIlroy, who left the rest for dead in the first golf tournament to have 99 of the world's top 100 playing in it, smiled when reminded he had just taken a record off Nicklaus.

"I don't care if I win by one or by eight - I just want to win - but it's nice to break a record like that, especially of Jack Nicklaus," he said.

"He's the most successful player of all time so far. It's a nice achievement."

The US Open last year saw McIlroy take the lead on the first day and gradually move away, but this was different.

He was three clear with a round to go, but that became only one when Ian Poulter leapt out of the pack by starting with five birdies in a row and six in seven holes.

McIlroy knew about it and put his foot on the accelerator. He turned in 33 to Poulter's 31 and while his Ryder Cup team-mate faltered he added further birdies at the 12th, 16th and 18th.

Poulter's slip allowed compatriot David Lynn to be the surprise runner-up. This was the 38-year-old first major in America and only the second of a career in which he was won just one of 371 European Tour events.

He qualified by being in the world's top 100 and now is 40th - and he is exempt for next April's Masters now.

Poulter, runner-up to Padraig Harrington in the 2008 Open, shared third with another Englishman, Justin Rose, defending champion Keegan Bradley and Swede Carl Pettersson. Woods was joint 11th.

PA

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
techCould new invention save millions in healthcare bills?
Sport
David Moyes gets soaked
sport Moyes becomes latest manager to take part in the ALS challenge
Voices
A meteor streaks across the sky during the Perseid Meteor Shower at a wind farm near Bogdanci, south of Skopje, Macedonia, in the early hours of 13 August
voicesHagel and Dempsey were pure Hollywood. They only needed Tom Cruise, says Robert Fisk
News
peopleEnglishman managed quintessential Hollywood restaurant Chasen's
Life and Style
food + drinkHarrods launches gourmet food qualification for staff
Arts and Entertainment
Michael Flatley prepares to bid farewell to the West End stage
danceMichael Flatley hits West End for last time alongside Team GB World champion Alice Upcott
Life and Style
Horst P Horst mid-fashion shoot in New York, 1949
fashionFar-reaching retrospective to celebrate Horst P Horst's six decades of creativity
News
Members and supporters of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community walk with a rainbow flag during a rally in July
i100
Life and Style
Black Ivory Coffee is made using beans plucked from elephants' waste after ingested by the animals
food + drinkFirm says it has created the "rarest" coffee in the world
Arts and Entertainment
Jamie T plays live in 2007 before going on hiatus from 2010
arts + entsSinger-songwriter will perform on the Festival Republic Stage
Life and Style
food + drinkThese simple recipes will have you refreshed within minutes
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

Robert Fisk: All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

Chuck Hagel and Martin Dempsey were pure Hollywood. They only needed Tom Cruise
Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

So claims an EU report which points to the Italian Mob’s alleged grip on everything from public works to property
Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw

Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw

Once the poor relation, the awards show now has the top stars and boasts the best drama
What happens to African migrants once they land in Italy during the summer?

What happens to migrants once they land in Italy?

Memphis Barker follows their trail through southern Europe
French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

The ugly causeway is being dismantled, an elegant connection erected in its place. So everyone’s happy, right?
Frank Mugisha: Uganda's most outspoken gay rights activist on changing people's attitudes, coming out, and the threat of being attacked

Frank Mugisha: 'Coming out was a gradual process '

Uganda's most outspoken gay rights activist on changing people's attitudes, coming out, and the threat of being attacked
Radio 1 to hire 'YouTube-famous' vloggers to broadcast online

Radio 1’s new top ten

The ‘vloggers’ signed up to find twentysomething audience
David Abraham: Big ideas for the small screen

David Abraham: Big ideas for the small screen

A blistering attack on US influence on British television has lifted the savvy head of Channel 4 out of the shadows
Florence Knight's perfect picnic: Make the most of summer's last Bank Holiday weekend

Florence Knight's perfect picnic

Polpetto's head chef shares her favourite recipes from Iced Earl Grey tea to baked peaches, mascarpone & brown sugar meringues...
Horst P Horst: The fashion photography genius who inspired Madonna comes to the V&A

Horst P Horst comes to the V&A

The London's museum has delved into its archives to stage a far-reaching retrospective celebrating the photographer's six decades of creativity
Mark Hix recipes: Try our chef's summery soups for a real seasonal refresher

Mark Hix's summery soups

Soup isn’t just about comforting broths and steaming hot bowls...
Tim Sherwood column: 'It started as a three-horse race but turned into the Grand National'

Tim Sherwood column

I would have taken the Crystal Palace job if I’d been offered it soon after my interview... but the whole process dragged on so I had to pull out
Eden Hazard: Young, gifted... not yet perfect

Eden Hazard: Young, gifted... not yet perfect

Eden Hazard admits he is still below the level of Ronaldo and Messi but, after a breakthrough season, is ready to thrill Chelsea’s fans
Tim Howard: I’m an old dog. I don’t get too excited

Tim Howard: I’m an old dog. I don’t get too excited

The Everton and US goalkeeper was such a star at the World Cup that the President phoned to congratulate him... not that he knows what the fuss is all about
Match of the Day at 50: Show reminds us that even the most revered BBC institution may have a finite lifespan – thanks to the opposition

Tom Peck on Match of the Day at 50

The show reminds us that even the most revered BBC institution may have a finite lifespan – thanks to the opposition