Mickelson hails magical McIlroy
Phil Mickelson hailed rising star Rory McIlroy as “some kind of player” after watching the 20-year-old win at Quail Hollow
Phil Mickelson hailed rising star Rory McIlroy as “some kind of player” after watching the 20-year-old win the Quail Hollow Championship in sensational style on Sunday to become the youngest winner on the PGA Tour since Tiger Woods in 1996.
McIlroy found some blistering form to go 16 under par on the weekend at the Quail Hollow Championship in Charlotte, setting a new course record of 62 yesterday and winning by four shots from Mickelson, the recentlt crowned Masters chamkpion.
“I’ve got to congratulate Rory on an incredible round,” Mickelson told Sky Sports 3.
“He played some incredible golf. He’s an amazing talent. He knew he was going to come out here and win because he’s won all over the world. To win at 20 is incredible. He’s some kind of player.”
McIlroy, who turns 21 on Tuesday, capped his final round with a 43-foot birdie putt on the 18th.
Mickelson, playing behind McIlroy, still had an outside chance of catching the flying Ulsterman when he watched, with open mouth, from the 17th when that putt dived in the hole and you could see by his body language, that his race was run.
His shoulders slumped visably and he missed a relatively straight forward putt.
He was clearly resigned to the fact that on an amazing day like this nobody was going to stop magnificent McIlroy from making his big US breakthrough.
THE RORY MCILROY FACTFILE
1989: Born on May 4 in Holywood, Northern Ireland.
1991: Hits a 40-yard drive at the age of two.
1998: Makes his first hole in one.
2004: Helps Europe win the Junior Ryder Cup.
2005: Becomes the youngest winner of the prestigious West of Ireland and Irish Close Championships before playing in his first professional European Tour event as a 16-year-old at The Forest of Arden. In July, McIlroy shoots a course-record 61 on the Dunluce links at Royal Portrush Golf Club.
2006: Successfully retains both Irish amateur titles and in August wins the European Amateur Championship in Italy.
October – Represents Ireland in the Eisenhower Trophy and the Amateur World Team Championship.
2007: May – Makes the cut in a European Tour event for the first time at the Dubai Desert Classic. Has to forgo prize money of more than 7,000 euros because of his amateur status.
July – Hits the headlines with an opening three-under-par round of 68 in the Open Championship at Carnoustie, the only bogey-free round of the day. He goes on to tie for 42nd position and accepts the Silver Medal as leading amateur.
September – Part of the Great Britain and Ireland team for the Walker Cup.
September 18 – After topping the amateur rankings, McIlroy turns professional. The teenager then makes the cut in his first professional event at the Quinn Direct British Masters.
October – Finishes third in his second pro event, the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship. The following week, he secures his card for the 2008 season by finishing in a tie for fourth place at the Open de Madrid. He finishes 2007 in 95th place on the Order of Merit list.
2008: January 27 – Enters the top 200 of the world rankings for the first time.
September 7 – McIlroy takes a four-shot lead into the final round at the Omega European Masters in Switzerland but bogeys the 18th to tie with Jean-Francois Lucquin, who goes on to win in a play-off. Finishes the season in the top 100 of the world rankings and ranked 36th on the European Tour Order of Merit.
November – Finishes second in the UBS Hong Kong Open, helping him attain his highest world ranking position of 50, making him the youngest player ever to make the top 50. A joint-third placing in the South African Open earns him an invitation to the Masters in April 2009, only 18 months after turning pro.
2009: February 1 – Wins his first professional title at the Dubai Desert Classic by one shot from Justin Rose, lifting him to 16th in the rankings.
April – Plays his first major as a professional at the Masters. He finishes the tournament at two under par in a tie for 20th.
June – Makes his US Open debut and impresses, finishing 10th.
July – Plays in first Open Championship as a professional. His final position is tied 47th.
August – Achieves his best finish in a major to date, tied third at the US PGA Championship.
November – After finishing second to Lee Westwood in the Race to Dubai, McIlroy enters the world’s top 10 for the first time.
May 2 – Wins his first PGA Tour title after shooting a course-record 62 in the final round at the Quail Hollow Championship, becoming the first player since Tiger Woods to triumph on the PGA Tour prior to his 21st birthday.
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