What a fantastic weekend of golf at Hoylake, also known as Royal Liverpool. Hoylake was the scene of the famous 2006 Open win for Tiger Woods.
Woods was one of the many stories coming into the event. Would he be as ready to compete as he said, following a return from back surgery? When asked by the media about his chances before the tournament he said he was there to win. But realistically, making the cut was a more reasonable goal. Woods did make the cut on the number, by making birdie on the final hole Friday.
By the end of Friday though, Woods was 12 shots behind the leader and would never be a threat the rest of the weekend.
Rory McIlory started the tournament with a fantastic 6-under round of 66 to lead the tournament after the first round. One of the most difficult things to do in golf is follow up a low round with another, but that is just what he did. A 2nd round 66 put McIlory at 12-under and firmly in command of the tournament.
McIlory’s lead varied, but for the most part was 4-6 shots for the bulk of the tournament, blowing up to seven at one point. Sergio Garcia put some pressure on McIlory during the final round, but McIlroy’s lead was too be for anyone to overcome.
McIlory’s ball striking and putting were quite impressive, leading to a wire-to-wire win.
With the win McIlory has moved to #2 in the world golf rankings. More importantly, he captured the Claret Jug and the 3rd leg of the four major championships. He’s one Masters win away from achieving the rare “grand slam,” owning all four major championships.