HOYLAKE, England (AP) – At the age of 25 Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy now has three major championships. He closed out the British Open with a 1-under 71 to finish the tournament in first at 17-under-par, two shots in front of Ricky Fowler and Sergio Garcia. McIlroy won the third major of the year leading after every round. He began the fourth round leading by six shots and never let anyone closer than two shots.
McIlroy’s round consisted of two birdies and two bogeys on the front nine with two more birdies and a third bogey on the back nine.
Garcia put up the biggest fight. He was two shots behind when he left a shot in the pot bunker right of the 15th green and made bogey. Birdies on two of the last three holes were not enough to close the gap.
McIlroy won the 2011 U.S. Open and the 2012 PGA Championship, which means he has only failed to win the Masters for a personal Grand Slam. He joins Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods as the only players with three different majors at age 25 or younger. He will go to the Masters next spring trying to become only the sixth player to win all four of golf’s biggest events.
Phil Mickelson finished with a 4-under 68 to complete play at 5-under while Woods had a final-round 3-over 75 to finish at plus-6. Tom Watson finished the week with a 4-under score in the final round to finish the tournament at 1-over.