KIAWAH ISLAND, SC, August 12, 2012‑‑‑ Rory McIlroy, a 23-year old shot rocket from Northern Ireland, left the rest of the group standing in amazement as he took the PGA Championship with an eight-under par, becoming the youngest golfer since Seve Ballesteros to eclipse two major tournaments.
For those who delight in keeping stats on these things, past champion Tiger Woods was all of four months older when he reached the same mark.
One of the prettier courses, The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island Golf Resort is well laid out and has its share of narrow fairways and tricky holes. But the weatherman always has a few tricks in his bag as well, and never fails to show his skill.
When play had to be stopped on Saturday due to one of those South Carolina storms that happens occasionally, McIlroy was in a dead heat with Vijay Singh at six under. Probably the most unique situation occurred when McIlroy’s shot off the tee took a weird turn and lodged itself into a tree, about eight feet off the turf. McIlroy had just gotten birdies on the first two holes, but now he was definitely in a leafy position.
Not being one to take the easy way out, he first decided to scale the green monster, until one of the press cameramen checked a replay and the monitor clearly showed it was an unplayable lie (perch?). McIlroy was talked out of the climb by his caddy, allowing him to take a penalty drop. The result of this sagacity was getting his wedge shot to go seven feet, and he ended up with par. Not too shabby.
Sunday dawned bright and clear, and McIlroy was pleased with the position he found himself in, quoted on Saturday as saying, “I’m going into the final day of the final major of the season tied for the lead . All I wanted was to put myself into contention and I’ve done that. It was a great start today and I can’t wait for tomorrow.”
“Roarin’ Rory” can be given excuses for a few bogeys along the way, as he and his Danish blonde lady friend, Caroline Wozniacki, had been in London for the Olympics part of the time, but he didn’t let anyone stand in his way when he took off on Sunday morning to clinch this second PGA Championship. Maybe it was his Woods-bright red shirt that gave him the needed edge, something that cannot be said for the Tiger.
In contrast, and there’s always a contrast where Tiger Woods is concerned, Woods seemed to be playing in reverse, as hole after hole were, let’s say, not exactly what he bargained for.
But this was a two-fer for the young man from Northern Ireland, who had won the U.S. Open by the same eight strokes that he managed to win the PGA, putting him in first place in world competition. Too bad there was not a gold medal to hang around his neck, but he will just have to settle for the monstrously large silver trophy, which he gleefully hoisted over his head. It would have dwarfed any Olympic podium.
As most on the tour know, you never play one of these beautiful coastal Carolina courses without a few natural hazards to contend with. They are just part of the game down there. Poor Tiger had to contend with a nasty prickly pear cactus at one point, and David Lynn, 38, came in as runner-up despite almost stepping on an equally nasty native alligator!
Bubba Watson ended up with several others, including Tiger Woods, tied for 11th place.
Follow the blog on FaceBook at MarthaBoltz; email is firstname.lastname@example.org . Read more of Martha’s columns on The Civil War at the Communities at the Washington Times.
REPRINTING TWTC CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.
This article is the copyrighted property of the writer and Communities @ WashingtonTimes.com. Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING TWTC CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.