Wednesday 26 November 2014

Jack Nicklaus heaps praise on Rory McIlroy

Published 11/08/2014 | 10:31

Rory McIlroy, of Northern Ireland, holds up the Wanamaker Trophy after winning the PGA Championship golf tournament at Valhalla Golf Club on Sunday, Aug. 10, 2014, in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Rory McIlroy, of Northern Ireland, holds up the Wanamaker Trophy after winning the PGA Championship golf tournament at Valhalla Golf Club
Rory McIlroy, of Northern Ireland, celebrates with his father Gerry, after winning the PGA Championship golf tournament at Valhalla Golf Club
Rory McIlroy believes he is playing the best golf of his life (AP)
Rory McIlroy celebrates with his caddie J.P. Fitzgerald aftet his win. Photo: Getty Images
Rory McIlroy poses with the Wanamaker trophy after his one-stroke victory during the final round of the 96th PGA Championship at Valhalla Photo: Getty Images
Rory McIlroy poses with the Wanamaker trophy after his one-stroke victory during the final round of the 96th PGA Championship at Valhalla Photo: Getty Images
Rory McIlroy celebrates his one-stroke victory with his father Gerry. Photo: Getty Images
Rory McIlroy celebrates his one-stroke victory on the 18th green during the final round of the 96th PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club. Photo: Getty Images
Rory McIlroy celebrates his birdie putt on the 17th hole during the final round of the 2014 PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Kentucky. Reuters
Rory McIlroy fought back after dropping two shots early on (AP)
Rory McIlroy catches the Wanamaker Trophy as it slips out of the hands of PGA president Ted Bishop when presented after winning the 2014 PGA Championship golf tournament at Valhalla Golf Club
Rory McIlroy, of Northern Ireland, holds part of the Wanamaker Trophy after being presented the trophy from PGA of America president Ted Bishop after winning the PGA Championship golf tournament at Valhalla Golf Club
Rory McIlroy hugs his father Gerry McIlroy after winning the 2014 PGA Championship golf tournament at Valhalla Golf Club.
Rory McIlroy reacts after winning the 2014 PGA Championship golf tournament at Valhalla Golf Club.
Rory McIlroy hugs his caddie JP Fitzgerald after winning the 2014 PGA Championship golf tournament at Valhalla Golf Club.
Rory McIlroy accepts the Wanamaker Trophy after winning the 2014 PGA Championship golf tournament at Valhalla Golf Club
Rory McIlroy, of Northern Ireland, speaks to the media during a news conference after winning the PGA Championship golf tournament at Valhalla Golf Club

Jack Nicklaus hailed the US PGA Championship won by Rory McIlroy as great theatre after the Northern Irishman's dramatic success in near darkness at Valhalla.

Nicklaus, winner of 18 major championships, witnessed McIlroy claim his second major title in four weeks and a third win in succession.

The 25-year-old carded a closing 68 at Valhalla to finish 16 under par, one shot ahead of Phil Mickelson.

Rickie Fowler and Henrik Stenson had been part of a three-way tie for the lead with Mickelson on the back nine but dropped shots on the closing stretch to finish two behind McIlroy on 14 under.

Nicklaus wrote on Twitter: "It was really a great tournament. It was great theatre. Great golf, actually.

"It was one of the best tournaments to watch - because of such good play - that I have seen in a long, long time.

"Henrik Stenson played fantastic... Phil Mickelson was unbelievable. Just pure guts and really great golf. And Rickie Fowler was simply terrific.

"He played well all the way down the stretch, until he couldn't see at 18. No one could.

"So let's just discount what happened at 18, because I just thought Rickie was terrific.

"Then Rory, who got three shots down, showed so much poise, confidence and determination coming down the stretch.

"The tee shots he hit (on Sunday), wow. Early on, Rory was just playing along and couldn't get anything going (two over after six holes).

"All of a sudden, everybody else was getting something going.

"Then Rory got the right break at the 10th hole with a great shot-he made the right break at 10 with that second shot (to set up eagle). He was off and running from there."

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