Unlike the previous three which looked like a walk the park, this one required grit and resolve to overcome a lifeless front nine and three of the top players in the world playing their worldly best. In dwindling sunlight from a fairway bunker on the 17th hole to a wicked Sunday pin position chosen by the committee of fans Rory threw a lawn dart at the flag followed by a perfect roll from 10 feet for birdie to put both hands firmly on his second Wanamaker Trophy.
One for the Gipper from the sand at 17…Embed from Getty Images
It was somewhat reminiscent of Tiger’s 216-yard fairway bunker 6-iron that sealed a semi-major victory at the Canadian Open at Glen Abbey in 2000. If you saw the look in Rory’s eyes as he scampered out of the bunker to follow his shot there is little doubt about the competitive drive in this champion.
Read the vivid details of his Sunday triumph in David Kindred’s account for GolfDigest.com. This was the stuff of lore.
As Bill Macatee said, Rory had one last save for the Wanamaker trophyEmbed from Getty Images
As gratifying was his golf, Rory’s statesmanship in the post round ceremonies and interviews would suggest that the game is in good hands with Rory. He took time in his acceptance speech to acknowledge the good sportsmanship of Phil and Ricky in allowing him to play up the 18th with them to insure completion of the championship in the fading sunlight. When asked about how he feels about being the figure of affection of a whole new school of young Rorys all over the world he graciously embraced this role and what comes with it.
There will be more masterpieces like this from David Cannon in year’s to come…Embed from Getty Images
This next chapter in the global golf story will be fascinating to watch unfold. Unlike in the Tiger iteration the competition is not paralyzed by Rory’s ability but seems ready to play up to the challenge on Sunday afternoons. The Realm of Rory will provide great theater for the fans and a proliferation of young kids strutting up the final holes in the fading light of dusk imagining their own glorious finishes in majors further down the road.