McIlroy runs away with PGA Championship at Ocean Course

Rory McIlroy hits out of the sand on 4 during the final round or the PGA Championship Sunday at the Ocean Course. (Mic Smith/Special to The Post and Courier)

KIAWAH ISLAND — Rory McIlroy won his second major golf title today, rolling to an easy victory in the 94th PGA Championship at the Ocean Course.

The 23-year-old from Northern Ireland shot a final-round 66, including a birdie on the final hole, to post a 72-hole total of 275. He finished eight shots in front of England's David Lynn, a PGA Championship record for largest margin of victory. McIlroy earned $1,445,000 from the $8 million purse.

Because of a Saturday weather delay, McIlroy had to come back early and complete the final nine holes of his third round. He went from being tied for the lead to a three-shot cushion for the start of the fourth round and he never relinquished that lead.

McIlroy's closest challenge came from England's Ian Poulter, who was six shots back at the start of the final round but vaulted up the scoreboard with six birdies on the first seven holes. Poulter eventually closed to within two shots of McIlroy, getting to 8-under with a birdie on the 12th. But three straight bogeys erased any hopes Poulter had of catching McIlroy. Poulter bogeyed the 18th and dropped into a tie for fourth at 284.

Carl Pettersson's hopes were dashed on the first hole when he was charged with a two-shot penalty for moving a loose impediment. Pettersson, three back of McIlroy going into the final round, inadvertently touched a small leaf during his swing while standing in a hazard. Pettersson got within four shots of McIlroy but that was all he could manage. A bogey on the 15th dropped him into a tie for third. Tiger Woods fell out of contention early and never got closer than six shots to McIlroy.

McIlroy tied for third in the 2009 and 2010 PGA Championship. In 2010, a three-putt bogey on the 15th hole in the final round left him one stroke short of a playoff, eventually won by Martin Kaymer.

McIlroy had a four-shot lead going into the final round of the 2011 Masters but shot 80. Then at Congressional outside Washington, D.C., he became the youngest winner of the U.S. Open at age 21 years, one month and 15 days.

McIlroy showed some nerves heading down the stretch. He had to get up and down for pars on 9 and 10, but settled back down and cruised to victory.

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