McIlroy wins dramatic PGA Championship by a shot

Final Round  — PGA of America — 96th PGA Championship — Valhalla Golf Club — Louisville, Kentucky —

A drama-filled final round highlighted the final major of the year at the 96th PGA Championship.

Four players — Rory McIlroy, Phil Mickelson, Henrik Stenson and Rickie Fowler — dueling throughout the back-nine down the stretch at Valhalla Golf Club. 

McIlroy (16-under) grabbed his second straight major title and fourth of his young career. It marked his third straight start with a win — he also won the Open Championship and the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.

Trailing by three shots, Rory made eagle at No. 10 and mounted a back-nine charge to win. His birdie at the 71st hole opened a two-lead to basically seal the victory.

Mickelson birdied the final hole to finish solo second, when Fowler lipped out for par. Fowler looked poised to win until some shaky moments on the back-nine. Stenson, who was T-3 with Fowler at 14-under, also eyed the title until he made a sloppy three-putt bogey at No. 14. He was bogey-free through that point and 6-under on his round.

Fowler finished inside the Top 5 in each of the four major championships. He was T-5 at the Masters, T-2 at the U.S. Open and Open Championships and finished again behind Rory at Valhalla. Mickelson and Stenson shot 66.

Jim Furyk ended up T-5 with Ryan Palmer, while Ernie Els headlined a group (including Jimmy Walker and Steve Stricker) at T-7 after shooting 65 Sunday.

Rory was the betting favorite coming into the tournament at 4 1/2-to-1 at The World No. 1 solidified his spot atop the rankings.

Other Golf News:

  • South Korea’s Miriam Lee, an LPGA Tour rookie, made birdie-3 on the second playoff hole to beat Inbee Park and win the Meijer LPGA Classic. It was Lee’s maiden LPGA Tour triumph. Both finished 14-under overall, while Suzann Pettersen ended up third at 13-under. Lee was an 80-1 long shot to win.
  • Aussie Jason Day, who played in the final pairing Saturday with Rory, shot 72 Sunday and ended up T-15 at 9-under and seven back. Second-ranked Adam Scott also logged a T-15 effort.
  • The PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup Playoffs begins in two weeks at The Barclays. 
  • The victory was Rory’s fourth worldwide triumph in 2014. He won the European Tour’s BMW PGA Championship back in late May.
  • Mickelson earned his way on the U.S. Ryder Cup squad. The U.S. team visits Gleneagles to take on Team Europe in late September. Fowler also has enough points to earn an automatic spot.