Rory McIlroy turns focus to multiple major success

Fourteen years after Tiger Woods won his first major with a record score at The Masters, Rory McIlroy has done the same at the US Open.

And even if the margin was not quite as great - eight shots as opposed to 12 - the statement was just as loud.



There is a new kid on the block and, as Ernie Els was predicting only last Tuesday, he is capable of re-writing history.



But what made the 22-year-old's runaway victory at Congressional last night all the more remarkable were two things above all else - he is the second successive Irish winner and he suffered that golfing nightmare at Augusta in April.



"It will probably take a little bit of time to sink in," said McIlroy after a closing 69 had taken him to an incredible 16 under par and had made him the youngest European major champion since 1872.



"Just to sit here, knowing that I've just won that trophy and followed in the footsteps of one of my best friends Graeme McDowell last year at Pebble, it's a great feeling.



"For such a small nation to win two US Opens in a row is pretty special. As Graeme said last year, there will be a lot of pints of Guinness going down.



"To get my first major championship out of the way quite early on in my career, especially after what's happened the last couple of months, feels great.



"Now I'm just looking forward to putting myself in the picture for hopefully many more."



There seems little doubt about that the way he demolished the world's best - minus the injured Woods - and became only the third player to win the title with four rounds in the 60s.



Whereas Woods broke the Masters record by only one McIlroy lowered the US Open mark by four - and this after only two previous professional victories and in the very next major after a closing 80 when four clear.



"Augusta I felt was a great opportunity to get my first major and it obviously didn't quite work out. To come back straightaway is nice," added McIlroy.



"I can always call myself a major champion now - and hopefully in the not-so-distant future I'll be able to call myself a multiple major champion."



Jack Nicklaus, whose 18 majors is now starting to look a tough ask for Woods after he has been stuck on 14 for three years, certainly believes in the young Ulsterman.



Reminded that McIlroy is a few months younger than he was at the 1962 US Open - his first major - the Golden Bear said: "He's ahead - and his score is way ahead of my pace.



"I think this kid's going to have a great career - I don't think there's any question about it.



"He's humble when he needs to be humble and confident when he needs to be confident. I like his moxie - he's cocksure and I like that. You've got to have that.



"He obviously had a couple if disappointments at The Masters and last year's Open (McIlroy started 63-80 at St Andrews), but I didn't think that was going to happen again and it hasn't."



The youngest winner of the title since amateur legend Bobby Jones in 1923 was not going to go wild last night because he was up early for a company day at Cape Cod near Boston.



"I know a few of my friends will be partying and I can't wait to get home and join them," he said.



That will be tomorrow, but he did add: "I definitely want to drink something out of that thing (the trophy) before the end of the night.



"You lose a lot more in golf than you win, so when you do win you have to enjoy it."



As McDowell did last year, McIlroy is expected to pull out of next week's French Open to first of all celebrate and then adjust to his new life before the next major - The Open on July 14-17.



McDowell played the Scottish Open as a warm-up, but his Ryder Cup partner may well not compete again until Sandwich.



He has a lot to reflect on - nobody before had got to 13 under in the championship let alone the 17 under he reached before he had his only three-putt of the week on the penultimate green.



Three ahead after an opening 65, a record-equalling (with Woods) six clear at halfway and eight in front with a round to go, he birdied the first and fourth to make his lead double figures.



It was back to eight by the turn and looked as if it might be seven when Korean playing partner YE Yang hit his tee shot to three feet on the dangerous short 10th.



McIlroy, though, almost holed-in-one and the tap-in two - five strokes fewer than he took on Augusta's 10th - was the crucial blow that effectively ended the hopes of those chasing him.



Australian Jason Day came through to be runner-up for the second major running, with Yang bogeying the last to slip back into a tie for third with England's Lee Westwood and leading home players Robert Garrigus and Kevin Chappell.



That makes it an unprecedented five majors in a row that no American has won, but the fans cheered McIlroy as if he was one of their own.



What a contrast to 1997 when Colin Montgomerie was heckled at the same course en route to being runner-up to Ernie Els.



Arts and Entertainment
The first film introduced Daniel Radcliffe to our screens, pictured here as he prepares to board the train to Hogwarts for the first time.
booksHow reading Harry Potter helps children grow up to be gay-friendly
Sport
Frank Lampard will pass Billy Wright and equal Bobby Charton’s caps tally of 106 caps against
sportFormer Chelsea midfielder in Etihad stopgap before New York contract
Arts and Entertainment
A scene from Aladdin is performed at the Tony Awards in New York in June
theatreBrit producer Lythgoe makes kids' musical comedy a Los Angeles hit
Sport
Usain Bolt of Jamaica smiles and shakes hands with a competitor after Jamaica won their first heat in the men's 4x100m relay
sport
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Chancellor George Osborne, along with the Prime Minister, have been 'complacently claiming the economy is now fixed', according to shadow Chancellor Ed Balls
i100... which is awkward, because he is their boss, after all
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Adèle Exarchopoulos and Léa Seydoux play teeneage lovers in the French erotic drama 'Blue Is The Warmest Colour' - The survey found four times as many women admitting to same-sex experiences than 20 years ago
filmBlue Is The Warmest Colour, Bojack Horseman and Hobbit on the way
News
Kenny Ireland, pictured in 2010.
peopleBenidorm actor was just 68
Arts and Entertainment
Preparations begin for Edinburgh Festival 2014
Edinburgh festivalAll the best shows to see at Edinburgh this year
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

Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

In grandfather's footsteps

5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

Martha Stewart has flying robot

The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

The dining car makes a comeback

Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

Gallery rage

How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

Eye on the prize

Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

Women's rugby

Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup
Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices