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Executive Sports Co: Rory McIlroy wins PGA Championship by 1 stroke over Phil Mickelson
The 26-year-old North Irishman won his third straight tournament and second major in a row by one stroke with a score of 16-under Sunday at Valhalla Golf Club, according to Kyle Gaspari, founder and owner of Executive Sports Co in Toronto and Burlington, ON. Gaspari has seen his share of professional golf tournaments as his company is and elite ticket and hospitality provider for many of the world's top sporting events including The British Open, the Masters Tournament, The Super Bowl, and Formula One Racing.
“As Phil Mickelson and Rickie Fowler exchanged birdies and encouragement during a blazing front nine, McIlroy appeared worn and ready to let a major title, that pundits had already placed in his trophy case, slip away, he says.
But then, he pulled out a fairway metal on 10, and whether it was completely miss-hit or driven off Valhalla's soggy fairway to perfection, it changed McIlroy's Sunday round.
He cracked a breathtaking cut shot that just scaled the rough and landed on the base of the green, before rolling pin-high to 283 yards.
And before it stopped rolling, McIlroy started moving. He stared at the leaderboard - not the tournament-altering shot - as he traced its path and realized the task at hand. He was down three shots.
McIlroy dropped the eagle roll to move back within one and kicked his round into high-gear. Two birdies later, he had a two-shot lead heading into a chaotic scene on 18, where the prospects of finishing before the sun dipped under the horizon appeared bleak.
But he did.
McIlroy won his second Wanamaker Trophy and became the fourth-youngest player to win four major titles at 25 years or younger. (The others were Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus and Bobby Jones)
And he celebrated with no daylight to spare.
Mickelson was tremendous in pursuit, looking like a big kid playing with his orange-clad buddy. Lefty carded five birdies through 11 holes before beginning to falter down the stretch. His bogey on 16 - the only dropped stroke on his round - was ultimately the difference in a 9th runner-up finish at a major.
Fowler completed one of the best major championship seasons in the history of golf, becoming the first player not named Jack or Tiger to finish in the top-five of all four tournaments.