143rd Open - Royal Liverpool 2014
McIlroy leads from wire-to-wire and becomes 2014 Open Champion
Rory McIlroy dominated the 2014 Open at Royal Liverpool. Only an exciting charge from Sergio Garcia (66), with an eagle at the 10th before leaving his ball in a bunker at the 15th, and Rickie Fowler finishing fast for a 67, cut McIlroy’s winning margin to two strokes. Though his overnight six-stroke lead dwindled alarmingly early in the round, he held firm with a steady 71 good enough for a 17-under-par total of 271.
“Today wasn't easy. There were a few guys who were making a run at me so I had to stay focused and get the job done.”
McIlroy became the third Northern Irish winner after Fred Daly, also at Hoylake in 1947, and Darren Clarke (2011). At 25 years and 77 days, McIlroy was the third youngest player to achieve the third leg of the modern Grand Slam after Jack Nicklaus (23 years, 181 days) and Woods (24 years, 171 days). He was also the seventh player to lead outright after every round.
An opening 66 merely raised concerns over a series of poor second-round scores in 2014 but he dismissed them with another six-under effort, followed by a 68 on the third day. He had been briefly caught by Fowler but responded with two eagles in the last three holes, a five-iron to 11 feet and a superb approach at the 18th. Saturday’s round was notable for being the first ever in the history of The Open to be conducted with a two-tee start as play was brought forward due to the threat of a thunderstorm.
“Today wasn’t easy,” McIlroy said. “There were a few guys who were making a run at me so I had to stay focused and get the job done.” There was a hug for his mother, Rose, as he walked off the 18th green. She had not been present at either of his previous Major victories. At the prize-giving he brought the house down by saying: “This one’s for you, mum.”