After two days of competition, Rory McIlroy has swung his way to the top of the leaderboard at this year’s PGA Championship, an event he’s already claimed in 2012. At Kiawah Island in 2012, McIlroy blew the field out of the water at the Ocean Course, winning his second career major by a record eight strokes. Success in this event is no stranger to the current No. 1 golfer on the planet.
During Thursday’s opening round, McIlroy scored an impressive eight birdies, with one bogey and one double mixed in, finishing the round at five under par, a number that put him near the top of the leaderboard. On Friday, McIlroy did not show any signs of slowing down; he sprinkled an eagle in with four birdies and finished four under par, totaling nine under through the first two rounds to lead the field.
McIlroy has shown the ability to flip the switch before to show us just how truly great his greatest golf can be. It’s breathtaking to watch. This tournament is all but over. McIlroy is going to win the 2014 PGA Championship.
Majors seem to come in bunches. Tiger Woods won 14 during his absurd 11-year run (’97-08). Phil Mickelson won three majors (’04, ’06 Masters and ’05 PGA) in three years, barely missing two additional U.S. Opens, finishing second in 2004 and 2006. Bubba Watson has won the Masters two of the last three years. Padraig Harrington won three majors in two years in 2007-2008.
They come in bunches. That is what is happening for Rory.
He flew onto the scene with a 2011 U.S. Open victory, following it up with (previously mentioned) the 2012 PGA Championship and 2014 Open Championship titles. He is one Masters away from the career grand slam. Oh yeah, and he’s only 25 years old.
McIlroy now has the confidence and experience needed to rattle off multiple majors, eventually rivaling Tiger for second-most majors of all time. How long will that take? This PGA Championship will be a good indicator.
Tiger had won six majors at the age of 25. Winning this tournament will give Rory his fourth major, which is not too far off from Tiger. He has shown the physical ability to beat the best and establish himself as the best golfer in the world. McIlroy currently has a two-shot lead that I do not expect him to relinquish for the remainder of this tournament. When he gets a lead, it rarely slips away.