After his spectacular collapse in the final round at Augusta two months previous, you’d be forgiven for thinking that Rory McIlroy might not be in the reckoning to take the 2011 US Open crown but how wrong was that assumption?
The Northern Irishman dusted himself down after the heartache of his Masters meltdown and demonstrated to the world just what he is all about, claiming his first major at Congressional Country Club in record breaking fashion, too. McIlroy is among the favourites for this year’s tournament (17/1), and you can bet on US Open 2019 winner on Betfair right now, but let’s take a look back at how McIlroy won the 2011 US Open in glorious fashion.
Prior to the tournament teeing off, all eyes were on McIlroy to see if he could go some way in redeeming himself after the events at Augusta in April. The 22-year-old brushed aside any apprehensions or fears that he or his supporters might have been feeling, and promptly put in a masterclass of golf which saw him finish the end of the first round with a score of 65. That put him three strokes clear of Yang Yong-eun and Charl Scwartzel but from McIlroy’s perspective, he was just warming up.
The second round saw McIlroy carry on how he left off as he carded 66, all whilst producing some of the finest golf the modern US Open era had ever witnessed. He was taking records like they were going out of fashion, and his score of 13-under-par was a record at any stage of the tournament. His birdie on the 17th was the deciding shot but he wasn’t finished there, his total of 131 over the first two rounds (11-under-par) set a new record over 36 holes and McIlroy also became the quickest golfer to reach double digits under par, doing so in 26 holes (10-under-par.)
Another day, and another two records came tumbling as McIlroy exerted his position at the top of the leader board. He posted a score of 68 which wasn’t actually the best of the third round, but that score meant that he recorded a total of 199 over 56 holes which broke another US Open record. McIlroy’s 14-under-par was also the first recorded at the tournament, completed on the 15th when he sunk a birdie.
On the fourth and final day, there was to be no repeat of the Masters collapse as McIlroy took a commanding eight-stroke lead with his first ever major firmly in sight. McIlroy’s display in the final round effectively portrayed how far he had come from the Masters, carding a score of 69 which saw him finish eight shots clear of Jason Day and a total of 16-under-par – a new course record.
Naturally, McIlroy was delighted with his performance and he couldn’t contain his joy after not only breaking numerous records, but capturing his first-ever major in scintillating fashion.
“The whole week has been incredible – I could not have asked for any more and I am so happy to hold this trophy,” said McIlroy.
“For such a small nation to win two US Opens in a row is pretty special. As Graeme [McDowell] said last year, there will be a lot of pints of Guinness going down.
“I know a few of my friends will be partying and I can’t wait to get home and join them.”