The field was no match for Rory
By Torleif Sorenson on 5/4/15
Rory McIlroy now has an individual match play championship as part of his 17 professional victories worldwide. The "Holywood Matinee Idol" won the 2015 World Golf Championships-Cadillac Match Play Championship on Sunday at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco.
The top-seeded McIlroy was one of twelve players to emerge from round-robin play undefeated at 3-0, along with (13) Rickie Fowler, (16) Hideki Matsuyama, (26) Lee Westwood, (29) Louis Oosthuizen, (31) Hunter Mahan, (36) Paul Casey, (37) Charl Schwartzel, (48) Danny Willett, (50) Gary Woodland, (56) Marc Leishman, and (60) John Senden.
In Group 1 round-robin play, McIlroy kicked Jason Dufner to the curb 5 & 4, then beat Brandt Snedeker 2-up. On Friday, McIlroy trailed Billy Horschel over 16 holes, but birdied 17 with a 25-footer and followed with another bird at 18 to square the match, forcing two playoff holes. In the final 16 that began on Saturday morning, McIlroy destroyed Matsuyama 6 & 5, then outlasted Paul Casey in 22 holes in the late match that ran so long that darkness prohibited further play after 21 holes. In the early Sunday match, Rory edged Furyk 1-up.
Meanwhile, Gary Woodland emerged from Group 11 with a 19-hole win over Jimmy Walker, a somewhat surprising 3 & 2 victory over Ian Poulter, then a 1-up win over 2012 U.S. Open champion Webb Simpson. In the final 16, Woodland had to get through two Australians, Marc Leishman (2 & 1) and John Senden (5 & 3). Woodland then made the final by dispatching the impressive young Englishman Danny Willett 3 & 2. (Willett went on to upset Jim Furyk 3 & 2 in the third-place final.)
For his part, Woodland surged in the Official World Golf Ranking from number 52 to number 32 — his highest-ever ranking in the OWGR.
Obviously, McIlroy remains the world's number one golfer and has been since capturing the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational last August.
One interesting statistic stands out among Rory's ten PGA Tour victories — only two of his wins have come at "ordinary" PGA Tour events: The 2010 Quail Hollow Championship in Charlotte, North Carolina, and the 2012 Honda Classic at PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. The other eight are all big ones: Four majors, two World Golf Championships, and two FedEx Cup Playoff tournaments in 2012 — the Deutsche Bank at TPC Boston, followed six days later by the BMW Championship (the former Western Open) at Crooked Stick outside Indianapolis.
Over on the European Tour, Rory won the 2012 season-ending DP World Tour Championship in Dubai, and also the Euro Tour's flagship event, the BMW PGA Championship in 2014. (This event was previously known as the British PGA Championship.)
That's just how good Rory McIlroy is.
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[ comments ]
Somewhere I made a prediction that Rory was going to get spanked in his initial group. So much for my prognostication skills. I am slowing coming to accept the fact that he is the best player playing golf right now.
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