No need to read the headline again, you read it correctly the first time. That’s right, folks! The 20-year-old, freckle faced kid from Ireland ran away with the lead at the Quail Hollow Championship PGA Tour Event in Charlotte starting with an incredible eagle at Friday’s round. While most others were watching heavyweights such as Mickelson and Woods or holding out to see if Bo Van Pelt keeps his lead, Rory McIlroy was about to have one of the best rounds of golf of his life! On Friday, McIlroy was on the verge of not making the cut; he was two shots over the cut line, and he had three holes to go. He shot a 4-iron 206 yards into the breeze and the ball soared over the water and landed 6 feet away for an incredible eagle shot. This monumental eagle shot on Friday gave way to fantastic rounds on Saturday and Sunday, which allowed him to gather momentum and put a large gap in between him and the other front runners. He shot a 10 under 62 on Sunday to finish the tournament with a -15, beating out legend Phil Mickelson by four strokes. According to statisticians and betting sites, McIlroy was up against incredible odds and only had a 50/1 shot at winning the event. Those that made their bets on McIlroy are happily shocked, we imagine.
Sunday’s win at the 2010 Quail Hollow Championship Charlotte NC was McIlroy’s first career PGA win; he is the second youngest PGA Tour winner, since Tiger Woods. Tiger, remember won his first PGA Tour Event in Las Vegas in 1996 when he was just 20 years and 10 months old. McIlroy is 20 years and 11 months old as he takes away Sunday’s 2010 Quail Hollow Championship PGA Tour Event. Could he be the next Tiger Woods? He certainly pulled off his fair share of incredible shots. He used a 5-iron to lunge the ball up a steep embankment on the 15th, it fell a mere 3 feet away and he sunk the shot for an eagle. On the 16th hole, he used a 7-iron to get out of a bunker and was so sure of himself that he did not even glance at the ball as it fell some 5 feet from the cup. The last two days of the Charlotte’s Quail Hollow PGA Tour Event, McIlroy finished with the lowest round. Sunday’s round was much the same. His final scorecard displayed 5 or under on the last five holes he played, and six different scores of 3 allowing him to finish Sunday’s round with a 10-under 62, which happens to now be the course record! He finished with a four shot victory over Mickelson, who finished with a 68 and seemed sure that he would be the final winner. After, McIlroy played his last shot, which included a 40-foot birdie putt, adoring fans welcomed his win, signaling to Mickelson that he had actually not pulled out the win he had been hoping for. We are still proud of Mickelson, however! He finished 2nd with an 11 under, after feeling ill during Wednesday’s events.
Angel Cabrera, who had been neck and neck with the leaders, finished out the leader board in the third position. Bo Van Pelt, who was in the lead on Friday’s round, finished 5th. Woods left the tournament on Friday after missing the cut; he had a horrible day after playing the highest 36 hole score of his career.
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*Special thanks to Charlie Pfeifler for the photo of Rory McIlroy, taken in 2009.