Monday 26 January 2015

Rory McIlroy showed he can deliver in a dogfight - Des Smyth

Published 11/08/2014 | 08:36

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

Ryder Cup vice captain Des Smyth believes Rory McIlroy has dispelled any doubts over ability to perform in extreme circumstances with his tremendous victory at the US PGA Championship at Valhalla.

McIlroy, who won the 2011 US Open and 2012 US PGA by eight shots and was six clear going into the final round of the Open at Royal Liverpool a fortnight ago, had to dig deeper than he has ever had to in securing his fourth major.

His performance on the back nine, which he began two shots off the lead,  was especially pleasing for Smyth who was delighted to see his fellow Irishman show that he can find his best from in clutch situations.

"I was one of those guys who stayed up and watched every shot. He showed a new side to him," Smyth said on Breakfast on Newstalk.

"In the past he has won a lot of these tournaments from the front as he did with the open a few weeks ago and people were saying that he might not have the steel in him down the stretch when things got a bit tight but they have been proven wrong again.

"He went three behind at one stage and not only did he win, the way he played the last nine holes, he played unbelievable golf.

"He produced the shots when he needed, there was only one player to hit the 10th yesterday (in two) and that was Rory McIlroy and he happened to make an eagle and from then on he hit every iron shot straight at the flag.

"It put just enough pressure on the guys in front to falter a little and that's what happened.

"We have been saying for years that this guy has this sort of talent but the question was can he do it under the heat? Can he do it under pressure? Can he deliver in a dogfight? Rory doesn't mind getting down and dirty, he proved it yesterday."

Promoted articles

Read More

Promoted articles

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport