13 Aug 2014

McIlroy celebrates 'best summer'

11:55 am on 13 August 2014

The Northern Irish golfer Rory McIlroy has taken a stranglehold on the world number one ranking after winning the US PGA Championship, and he doesn't look like loosening his grip.

Rory McIlroy tees off on the fifth hole during the fourth round of the PGA Championship, 2014.

Rory McIlroy tees off on the fifth hole during the fourth round of the PGA Championship, 2014. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

McIlroy on Monday became the fourth youngest player to land four majors and also became just the fifth player to win the British Open and PGA Championship in the same year.

The 25-year-old will now take a week off to celebrate his remarkable season, including parading his British Open trophy at the first game of the English football premier league season at Old Trafford.

Rory McIlroy hits a shot during the first round of the PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Kentucky. 2014.

Rory McIlroy hits a shot during the first round of the PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Kentucky. 2014. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

McIlroy says the significance of his achievements are yet to sink in, but he realises he may never have another year as successful as 2014 and says he's going to enjoy the moment while it lasts.

McIlroy recovered from a stumbling start to win the PGA Championship in Kentucky by one stroke and claim the final major title of the year.

After a lengthy rain delay, the Northern Irishman began the final round at the Valhalla golf club with a one stroke advantage at 13 under par, but after dropping a shot on the front nine McIlroy was overtaken by the Americans Phil Mickelson and Ricky Fowler along with the Swede Henrik Stenson.

An eagle on 10 and birdies on 13 and 17 gave McIlroy a two-shot buffer at 16 under par before the 25-year-old found the bunker on the par-five 18th.

Ahead of him, Mickelson (66) birdied the 18th to take soul possession of 2nd place at 15 under forcing McIlroy into a difficult par save to avoid a playoff.

In near darkness, the British Open champion chipped onto the green and calmly two putted for a closing round three under par 68 and his second PGA Championship victory.

Fowler (68) and Stenson (66) finished in a tie for third at 14 under par.

The victory is McIlroy's fourth in a major championship and third tournament win in a row after claiming the Open Championship at the Royal Liverpool in July and a World Golf Championship event in Ohio at the start of August.