Madison’s Steve Stricker started his final round of the 2011 U.S. Open on fire, pulling out 5-birdies in his first 10-holes. Then Stricker double-bogeyed 12 and dropped 4-shots over the last 8 holes to finish 1-under par for the tournament and tied for 19th.
Stricker birdied the 3rd, 5th, 6th, 8th and 10th holes before his game fell apart.
22-year-old Rory McIlroy (Northern Ireland) captured his first major by winning the 111th U.S. Open at Congressional Country Club, finishing 8 strokes better than Jason Day. McIlroy fired four rounds in the 60’s, just the third player in U.S. Open history to do so. He’s also the youngest U.S. Open winner since 21-year-old Bobby Jones won in 1923.
Talk immediately began of McIlroy becoming the next great young golfer in the game. At 22, he’s put up some good early numbers. But there’s still a long way to go for McIlroy.
He has all of the tools and does everything well. But prior to Sunday, McIlroy had won just twice and blew a 4-shot lead entering the final round of the Masters earlier this year.
McIlroy’s 268 total beat the U.S. Open scoring record by four strokes. The previous low mark of 272 was held by Tiger Woods (2000), Jack Nicklaus (1980), Lee Janzen (1993) and Jim Furyk (2003).
McIlroy’s performance is no doubt impressive. But while finishing 16-under par, twenty-one other golfers finished at par or under par. Consider Tiger Woods 12-under par finish in the 2000 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach. No other golfer finished under par that week and the closest to par was 3-over.
McIlroy may have the makings of a great player, but let’s see him win more tournaments and in particular more majors, before we anoint him the next great one!
Playing conditions were better this year