Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

McIlroy Feels So Sharp as He Cuts Down Garcia Again

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

McIlroy Feels So Sharp as He Cuts Down Garcia Again

Article excerpt

Byline: Marco Giacomelli

IF RORY McILROY is in the mix come the start of the final round of the US PGA Championship on Sunday then expect the new world No1 to take his fourth Major title. For a fortnight after holding off Sergio Garcia to win the Open at Hoylake, McIlroy overhauled his Ryder Cup team-mate to win the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational and regain top spot in the rankings from Adam Scott.

McIlroy turned a three-shot deficit into a two-shot lead within the space of five holes at Firestone Country Club before Garcia battled back to leave the pair tied heading into the back nine.

However, the Northern Ireland golfer held his nerve as he picked up a birdie at the 11th while the Spaniard had a bogey four holes later, allowing McIlroy to take the title by two shots. With only three days until the US PGA begins at Valhalla in Kentucky, McIlroy has never felt in better shape.

"Mentally I'm really sharp," said McIlroy, who closed with a 66 to finish 15 under par. "It's the most comfortable I've ever felt trying to close out a golf tournament out there.

"It felt normal, like a first or second round. It didn't feel like the fourth round. I didn't get ahead of myself. I just kept playing shot after shot after shot. What I am really proud of this week is following on from the Open with a performance like this. I said straight after the Open that I did not want any let down, I wanted to keep going and performing until the end of the season.

"It's great to come to one of my favourite tournaments of the year and to perform like this I am pretty satisfied." His form is the best of his career, he said, even better than at this time two years ago, when he won the US PGA at Kiawah Island by eight strokes.

Not that he played flawlessly yesterday but he extricated himself from trouble with an assured putting stroke that limited the damage to just one bogey on the eighth.

"I had a couple of wobbles, rode my luck a little on the back nine, hit a couple of tree limbs and got lucky a couple of times," said the 25-year-old, who collected PS910,000 for his first victory in a World Golf Championships event. …

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