There would be no Sunday collapse like at the Masters, as Rory McIlroy finished off his record-setting U.S. Open with a 69 to finish 16-under par for the tournament, completing his first victory at one of golf’s major championships.
How dominant was this performance?
McIlroy is just the seventh wire-to-wire winner in U.S. Open history and first since Tiger Woods in 2002. His eight-stroke victory is the third largest in U.S. Open history and tied for the sixth largest at any major.
McIlroy's performance broke Woods' previous U.S. Open tournament record of 12-under, set by Woods when he won the 2000 championship. Before this, Woods had held at least a share of the record for the lowest score to par in each of the four majors.
According to Elias, the 22-year-old McIlroy is the youngest to win the U.S. Open since Bobby Jones in 1923. Jones was 21 years, 55 days old when he won it that year. McIlroy is the ninth youngest all time to win the U.S. Open.
McIlroy is the second-youngest player to win any major since World War II. The only player to do so at a younger age during that span? You guessed it -- Tiger Woods, who was 21 at the time of his win at the 1997 Masters.
Youngest Major Winners Since World War II
McIlroy's play evoked comparisons to that of Woods during his first major victory in 1997. Like McIlroy at this year's U.S. Open, Woods dominated the 1997 Masters, entering the final round with a nine-stroke lead to finish 12 strokes ahead of the pack.
McIlroy is continuing a youth movement in golf during which each of the past four majors has been won by a player in his 20s. The last time all four current major champions were in their 20s was in 2000-2001, when Woods held all four majors.
This also marked the 11th different champion in as many majors. Eight of the 11 are first-time winners.
The struggles among American golfers continued as this marked the fifth straight major won by a player born outside the United States. That is the first time that has ever happened.
Perhaps more troubling are the recent struggles for American players at the U.S. Open. Six of the past eight years, the U.S. Open champion has come from outside the host country. From 1971 to 2000, only three players from outside the United States won the title.