Like us to subscribe
It's not shocking to note TV ratings for the final round of the 2011 U.S. Open were down 26 percent compared to the previous year's. However, 2011's 5.1 rating tied with 2009's -- and since 2002, only 2010 and 2008's 5.3 have been higher. So we're not talking about a completely apathetic populace.
Many are going to blame Tiger Woods' absence for that slightly disappointing figure. But as Tim Kawakami pointed out Friday, if Woods had been in the tournament, he still probably would've been trailing Rory anyway.
McIlroy's huge lead may have turned off some viewers, but based on anecdotal evidence, like the response when SB Nation asked its Twitter followers whether Rory's performance was "exhilarating or boring," plenty of sports fans were intrigued. Which leads us back to Tiger, since he's one of the world's few athletes with the power to draw in people who wouldn't have been watching anyway.
Rory McIlroy won the 2011 U.S. Open and it was never really close. Anyone waiting for a collapse is still waiting, and 24 hours after a record-breaking victory, golf's found a new star, and sports fans have a new reason to care about golf.
Rory McIlroy rewrote the U.S. Open history book this week and on this Sunday at Congressional, exorcised the demons from Augusta National. The 22-year-old Northern Irishman shot a two-under 69 on Sunday and won the U.S. Open by a staggering eight shots. He finished at 16-under 268, which set records for lowest score and lowest score in relation to par in U.S. Open history. McIlroy reached 17-under par, which was a first at the U.S. Open. He became the youngest winner of this championship since Bobby Jones in 1923. He is the third player in U.S. Open history to post four rounds in the 60s. All totaled for the week, McIlroy broke or tied 12 U.S. Open records. "Overall, the whole week has been incredible. I couldn't ask for much more," McIlroy said in his trophy presentation. "I know how good Tiger was in 2000 to win at Pebble." It was a championship reminiscent of Woods 11 years ago and Woods was impressed with McIlroy. At home with leg injuries, Woods released a statement congratulating McIlroy, who became the sixth winner to go wire-to-wire without any ties and the first since Woods in 2002. "Congrats to Rory. What a performance from start to finish," Woods said in his statement. "Enjoy the win. Well done." Perhaps more important than any record, McIlroy overcame the horrors of the Masters. Armed with a four-shot lead heading into that Sunday, he shot a disastrous 80 and tied for 15th. Just one major later, McIlroy went into Sunday with double his Masters lead and cruised to an easy major victory. "Augusta was a very valuable experience for me," he said. "I knew what I needed to do today to win. I put a few different things into practice and it paid off. The whole week was special...I could not have asked for anything more... I played great for four days and couldn't be happier."
Rory McIlroy rewrote the U.S. Open history book this week and on this Sunday at Congressional, exorcised the demons from Augusta National.
The 22-year-old Northern Irishman shot a two-under 69 on Sunday and won the U.S. Open by a staggering eight shots. He finished at 16-under 268, which set records for lowest score and lowest score in relation to par in U.S. Open history.
McIlroy reached 17-under par, which was a first at the U.S. Open. He became the youngest winner of this championship since Bobby Jones in 1923. He is the third player in U.S. Open history to post four rounds in the 60s. All totaled for the week, McIlroy broke or tied 12 U.S. Open records.
"Overall, the whole week has been incredible. I couldn't ask for much more," McIlroy said in his trophy presentation. "I know how good Tiger was in 2000 to win at Pebble."
It was a championship reminiscent of Woods 11 years ago and Woods was impressed with McIlroy. At home with leg injuries, Woods released a statement congratulating McIlroy, who became the sixth winner to go wire-to-wire without any ties and the first since Woods in 2002.
"Congrats to Rory. What a performance from start to finish," Woods said in his statement. "Enjoy the win. Well done."
Perhaps more important than any record, McIlroy overcame the horrors of the Masters. Armed with a four-shot lead heading into that Sunday, he shot a disastrous 80 and tied for 15th.
Just one major later, McIlroy went into Sunday with double his Masters lead and cruised to an easy major victory.
"Augusta was a very valuable experience for me," he said. "I knew what I needed to do today to win. I put a few different things into practice and it paid off. The whole week was special...I could not have asked for anything more... I played great for four days and couldn't be happier."
How much money did Rory McIlroy just make himself? With the $1.44 million share of the $7.5 million purse earned by owning the 2011 US Open, McIlroy has joined the PGA Tour's eight-digit club with over $11.1 million in career winnings. And done it in a hurry, too, having turned pro in only 2007. That prize is up from last year's $1.35 million, by the way.
How about the payouts the rest of the rest of the US Open field earned? Runner-up Jason Day earned $865,000, while Robert Garrigus, Kevin Chappell, Y.E. Yang and Lee Westwood each picked up $364,241. Love that single dollar tacked on to the end of each. Head here to see the complete list.
Rory's cut of the purse is nothing compared to the sponsorship money he's likely looking at over the course of the next year, now that he's suddenly among the biggest names in golf. The win also assures McIlroy of an invitation to the other three majors for the next five years and the US Open for the next decade.
Entering the tournament at Congressional he'd earned $605,246 for the year, with his Masters collapse costing him over $1 million. Safe to say he's not thinking about that right now.
Rory McIlroy's runaway 2011 U.S. Open victory is the culmination of a masterful week of golf. It also puts him in parts of record books that only Tiger Woods had previously seen.
McIlroy shattered a number of U.S Open scoring records for both score in relation to par and aggregate score on the way to his 16-under 268, and he threatened a number of all-time major championship records, too.
Lowest score in relation to par in a U.S. Open, 72 holes: 16-under, Rory McIlroy, 2011 U.S. Open. Tops the 12-under mark set by Tiger Woods at the 2000 U.S. Open; McIlroy was never lower than 13-under at any point in his final round.
Lowest aggregate score in a U.S. Open, 72 holes: 268, Rory McIlroy, 2011 U.S. Open. Previously: 272, held by Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus, Lee Janzen, and Jim Furyk.
Lowest score in relation to par in a major championship, 72 holes: 19-under, Tiger Woods, 2000 British Open. McIlroy never got closer than 17-under late on his back nine; only Woods and Bob May have ever been 18-under or below after 18 holes of a major championship.
Lowest aggregate score in a major championship, 72 holes: 265, David Toms, 2001 PGA Championship. McIlroy's even-par back nine (two birdies, two bogeys) gave him a 268 for the week.
Largest margin of victory in a major championship: 15 strokes, Tiger Woods, 2000 U.S. Open. McIlroy never led by more than 10 strokes, and his eight-stroke margin of victory is fourth in U.S. Open history.
Fewest bogeys in a major: Three, multiple times, most recently by Tiger Woods in the 2006 PGA Championship. McIlroy made two bogeys on the back nine of his final round to lose his shot at setting this record.
McIlroy also set 36-hole and 54-hole scoring records for U.S. Open play, and set or tied 12 U.S. Open records in total. But maybe the most impressive things about McIlroy's victory are ones that aren't technically records.
McIlroy, who was laser-accurate with irons all week, may have been even better with the putter, three-putting just once (on the 17th hole in his final round) in a U.S. Open. That's virtually unheard of.
And McIlroy is the only golfer to ever be lower than 12-under in a U.S. Open, even though he had to get there on multiple occasions. He got there in the second round, then immediately double bogeyed to fall back out of that rarefied air, and did the same thing midway through his third round.
Then Rory McIlroy made a birdie to move lower than 12-under for good. And he stayed there for the final 26 holes of the Open, becoming the only golfer to ever reach 13-under, 14-under, 15-under, 16-under, or 17-under in a U.S. Open. Of all the staggering facts, figures, and statistics McIlroy compiled in his magical week, that one may be the best.
The course at Congressional Country Club was no match for Rory McIlroy in the 111th US Open, with the 22-year-old Northern Irishman shattering records and lacking mercy in doing so. He only let himself enjoy it during a few moments of Sunday's final round, but now that the tournament is in the books he's on top of the world.
While receiving the 2011 US Open Trophy, the youngest event champion since Bobby Jones was asked by Bob Costas whether he can play any better than this:
I coulda held a couple more putts today. Overall the whole week has been incredible. I couldn't ask for much more. So happy to be holding this trophy.
Asked whether he's aware of just how dominant his performance was, he laughed and said, "Yeah, I am. Do I know how good Tiger was in 2000 to win by 15 at Pebble? I was trying to go out there today and emulate him in some way. I played great for four days, and I couldn't be happier."
"Augusta was a very valuable experience for me," McIlroy said. "I knew what I needed to do today to win, and at Augusta I learned a few things about myself and my game. I put a few different things into practice, and it paid off."
Costas asked the champ what it means to have his father by his side. "It means the world Happy Father's Day, Dad. This one's for you."
Before leaving to pose one more time with his new hardware, McIlroy informed the pubs of North Ireland to prepare the pints of Guinness. Hey, guess who's definitely getting a series of beer ads now?
Rory McIlroy has won the 2011 U.S. Open, completing a weekend coronation earned with some of the most scintillating play golf has ever seen.
McIlroy fired a final round 69 to finish the U.S. Open at 16-under 268, shattering U.S Open records held by Tiger Woods for both score in relation to par and aggregate score at the end of a four-round decimation of Congressional Golf Club. McIlroy finished eight strokes ahead of Jason Day, whose 8-under was a better score in relation to par than every winning score since Jim Furyk's in 2003.
McIlroy held the outright lead after each round, becoming the first wire-to-wire U.S. Open winner since 2002 and the first U.S. Open winner to shoot four rounds in the 60s since Lee Janzen in 1993.
And his play was so good throughout — McIlroy reached double digits under par just 26 holes into the tournament, and made just four bogeys or worse — that his massive lead made the typically dramatic U.S. Open weekend about as suspenseful as a leisurely pair of rounds at the local municipal course.
McIlroy has held the golf world's attention before, after a catastrophic 80 in the final round of the 2011 Masters that left many wondering if McIlroy would ever be the same. Now, talk of McIlroy, who is, at 22, the youngest U.S. Open champion since World War II (his win bests Jack Nicklaus and raises the specter of Bobby Jones) will focus on his blindingly bright future. And it's the golf world that may never be the same.
With Rory McIlroy's only real Sunday opponent being the record books, one of the few competitive aspects of the 2011 US Open's has been the battle for low amateur honors between Patrick Cantlay of the UCLA Bruins and Russell Henley of the Georgia Bulldogs. Of course, like the rest of the tourney, it didn't stay all that competitive for long.
The two came into Sunday a stroke apart, but Henley struggled throughout his back nine, posting five bogeys on his final 11 holes to finish 4-over for the event, while Cantlay put together a birdie on hole No. 17 to conclude at even par and put himself in contention for a top-20 finish.
It's been an amazing summer for the 18-year-old freshman, who's also won the Nicklaus Award and helped win the Palmer Cup.
Henley split the 2010 lowest amateur score with Scott Langley, and this year ended up with an even better result. It's a sign of how deep this field is, and how good Cantlay is, that Henley outworked himself and still came up short.
PGA fans have watched the first three-and-a-half rounds of the 2011 US Open in shock at Rory McIlroy's performance, but it's been impressive to see the young player remain hard on himself after less-than-ideal shots. After one hole in a previous round, he even plucked his ball from the cup and hurled it into the water in disgust.
A common reaction to accomplishing things nobody has ever done before, of course.
After he drilled a near-perfect tee shot on Sunday's hole No. 10 to set himself up for yet another birdie, McIlroy finally let himself show just how good this has to feel, exhaling and high-fiving his caddy. All that before he tapped in the short putt to go 17-under with eight holes left, a nine-stroke advantage over second-place Y.E. Yang.
Conditioned by a decade of seeing Tiger Woods stalk Sunday greens, golf fans are starting to see something both familiar and missed in Rory's threatening approach to each tee.
It seems all but decided that Rory McIlroy will win the 2011 U.S. Open. But might he also rewrite some of golf's record books? Here's a look at several of the records McIlroy might be able to equal or break on the back nine at Congressional Golf Club after his 2-under front nine pushed him to 16-under for the tournament.
Lowest score in relation to par in a major championship, 72 holes: 19-under, Tiger Woods, 2000 British Open. McIlroy was 16-under as he made the turn at the U.S. Open, and moved to 17-under with a birdie on the 10th.
Lowest score in relation to par in a U.S. Open, 72 holes: 12-under, Tiger Woods, 2000 U.S. Open. McIlroy could be 3-over on the back nine and still top Woods' mark.
Lowest aggregate score in a major championship, 72 holes: 265, David Toms, 2001 PGA Championship. McIlroy would finish at 268 with an even-par back nine, and needs a 4-under back nine to take this and a slew of other records at 20-under 264.
Lowest aggregate score in a U.S. Open, 72 holes: 272, held by Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus, Lee Janzen, and Jim Furyk. Again, 3-over on the back nine still gets McIlroy the record.
Largest margin of victory in a major championship: 15 strokes, Tiger Woods, 2000 U.S. Open. McIlroy probably won't own this record; he's had nine- and 10-shot leads today, but would need to dip further into red numbers and have much of the pack "chasing" him fall back a bit for this to realistically happen.
Fewest bogeys in a major: Three, multiple times, most recently by Tiger Woods in the 2006 PGA Championship. McIlroy has two, but one came on the 10th in his third round and another, a double bogey, happened on the 18th hole of his second round. And McIlroy's already made birdie on No. 10 in his final round.
So if you're cheering for history, you want Rory McIlroy to be 4-under or better with no bogeys on the back nine at Congressional Golf Club. And, with the way McIlroy's playing, you might not have to cheer that hard.
Phil Mickelson's 2011 U.S. Open has come to an end and probably none too soon after finishing at 7-over. After experiencing a meltdown on the course Saturday afternoon with a 6-over, Mickelson came out looking for a rebound on Sunday. He shot 1-over on the front nine, bogeying the par-5 sixth hole.
Things continued to go well through the back nine when he made par on the first four holes. He followed that with three birdies in the next four holes to sit at 2-under for the round. But then the ghosts of Friday came around on the 18th hole again. Mickelson double-bogeyed the final hole of the day to finish at even-par.
He is currently tied for 55th, moving up two spots from where he started the day. In 2010, Mickelson finished tied for fourth with Tiger Woods at 3-over.
This much is clear: Rory McIlroy is either going to make history by running away with the 2011 U.S. Open or by blowing up in one of the biggest collapses golf has ever seen. And that second thing isn't very likely.
McIlroy burst from the gate on Sunday with two birdies in the first four holes of his final round, pushing him to 15-under and 16-under and making him the only golfer to ever reach either score in relation to par in a U.S. Open.
The second birdie also made McIlroy's lead over Lee Westwood and Y.E. Yang a full 10-shot advantage, the sort of thing that was once considered the province of Tiger Woods alone. Woods won the 2000 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach with the lowest 72-hole score in relation to par (12-under) in U.S. Open history, and claimed that victory by 15 shots.
McIlroy seems a cinch to break at least that first record. But if the Northern Irish prodigy can keep up his sterling play, that other one is at risk, too.
The best chance any dark horse had at wresting the 2011 U.S. Open from Rory McIlroy entering Sunday's final round at Congressional Golf Club was to shoot a stellar number and hope that McIlroy would collapse.
Few are doing that first part.
Through the morning in the U.S. Open's final round, the top of the leaderboard has remained virtually unchanged. McIlroy still holds an eight-shot lead over final round playing partner Y.E. Yang, and a nine-shot lead over Lee Westwood and Jason Day, and no golfer has been able to reshuffle the top eight with a flurry of red numbers.
Therefore, it's hard to think that anyone already on the course at Congressional — Sergio Garcia and Matt Kuchar, teeing off at 2:50 p.m. Eastern, began the string of contenders at 4-under or better — will be challenging McIlroy for the 2011 U.S. Open victory.
That is, unless McIlroy follows up his final round 80 at the 2011 Masters with an even more disastrous Sunday at Congressional.
With Rory McIlroy way out in front at the 2011 U.S. Open, all that's left for the back of the pack to do is play for positioning. And while Bae Sang-Moon is doing that well, Phil Mickelson is struggling just as he has in the rest of his week at Congressional Golf Club.
Bae, an Asian Tour professional since 2004, is 5-under on his day through 13 holes, moving from a tie for 64th at 8-over to begin the day to a tie for 40th at 3-over. The 2011 U.S. Open is the first PGA Tour major in which Bae has made the cut, and he's looking good for having Sunday's best round.
Mickelson isn't having nearly as good a day. He's 1-over through 12 holes, and has gotten there in atypically boring fashion. Mickelson's made one bogey and 11 pars in his final round, and his swashbuckling style has failed to produce excitement or red numbers at Congressional all week.
If there's any consolation for Mickelson, it's that there's virtually no way he can fall to the very lowest rung of the U.S. Open leaderboard — 19-over Wes Heffernan and 18-over Brad Benjamin will be competing for that distinction — and that Lefty still finds himself one stroke ahead of fellow presumed contender Bubba Watson, who is 9-over for the tournament and 2-over for his final round.
Rory McIlroy is 18 holes away from getting the monkey off his back and shaking his memories of the meltdown at The Masters. McIlroy has run away from the field at the 2011 US Open and holds an eight-shot lead over Y.E. Yang, his playing partner for Saturday's third round. McIlroy has been nearly flawless this week, carding only one bogey and a double bogey through 54 holes as Congressional Country Club has swallowed up the rest of the field.
McIlroy carded a 3-under 68 on Saturday to get to 14-under for the tournament. After recording a double-bogey to finish Friday's second round, McIlroy finished with four birdies and only one bogey on Saturday as he stretched his advantage. With good scores to be had on the rain-softened course, he was still able to give himself a comfortable lead ahead of the final round.
Coverage on Sunday begins at 1:30 p.m. EDT and runs until 7:30 p.m., or whenever the final round concludes. NBC will have the broadcast duties again for the final round.
Here are the tee times for Sunday's final round. McIlroy and Yang will be paired together again, though Yang has some work to do to make up the enormous deficit.
|9:30 AM||Brad Benjamin (a)||Wes Heffernan|
|9:40 AM||Alexandre Rocha||Todd Hamilton|
|9:50 AM||J.J. Henry||Justin Hicks|
|10:00 AM||Sang-Moon Bae||Anthony Kim|
|10:10 AM||Phil Mickelson||Christo Greyling|
|10:20 AM||Charley Hoffman||Scott Piercy|
|10:30 AM||Kenichi Kuboya||Kevin Streelman|
|10:40 AM||Luke Donald||Bubba Watson|
|10:50 AM||Matteo Manassero||Marcel Siem|
|11:00 AM||Edoardo Molinari||Adam Hadwin|
|11:10 AM||Brian Gay||Ryo Ishikawa|
|11:20 AM||Jeff Overton||Michael Putnam|
|11:30 AM||Robert Rock||Lucas Glover|
|11:40 AM||William Cauley||Gary Woodland|
|11:50 AM||Chez Reavie||Retief Goosen|
|12:00 PM||Gregory Havret||Robert Karlsson|
|12:10 PM||Johan Edfors||Alexander Noren|
|12:20 PM||Padraig Harrington||Martin Kaymer|
|12:30 PM||Seung-yul Noh||Sunghoon Kang|
|12:40 PM||Dustin Johnson||Rory Sabbatini|
|12:50 PM||Ryan Palmer||John Senden|
|1:00 PM||Marc Leishman||Charl Schwartzel|
|1:10 PM||Bill Haas||Do-Hoon Kim|
|1:20 PM||Russell Henley (a)||Alvaro Quiros|
|1:30 PM||Louis Oosthuizen||Steve Stricker|
|1:40 PM||Harrison Frazar||Graeme McDowell|
|1:50 PM||Zach Johnson||Brandt Snedeker|
|2:00 PM||Patrick Cantlay (a)||Peter Hanson|
|2:10 PM||Kevin Chappell||Webb Simpson|
|2:20 PM||Davis Love III||Heath Slocum|
|2:30 PM||Brandt Jobe||Henrik Stenson|
|2:40 PM||Kyung-tae Kim||Bo Van Pelt|
|2:50 PM||Sergio Garcia||Matt Kuchar|
|3:00 PM||Robert Garrigus||Fredrik Jacobson|
|3:10 PM||Jason Day||Lee Westwood|
|3:20 PM||Rory McIlroy||Y.E. Yang|
For more on the Sunday's final round, stay with this StoryStream. Head over to SB Nation's Waggle Room for all your golfing needs, too.
We'll email you a reset link.
If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.
You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.
We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.
You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.
We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.
Choose an available username to complete sign up.
In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.