McIlroy celebrates USPGA glory
Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland reacts to his victory after a birdie putt on the 18th green during the final round of the PGA Championship (AP)
Only a month after people were asking what had gone wrong, Rory McIlroy proved everything is all right by storming to his second major - and at a younger age than Tiger Woods managed it.
While the flame was being put out at the London Olympics, the 23-year-old from Co Down's talent shone like a beacon at Kiawah Island in South Carolina as he returned to world number one by adding the USPGA title to his US Open last year.
The first came by eight shots and so did the second, this time a championship record margin over England's world number 98 David Lynn in what was the performance of his life.
This one also had the added satisfaction of leaving Woods trailing in his wake.
Closing with a 66 to follow a 67 earlier in the day - the third round had to be completed first - McIlroy, who admitted during the summer that he may have taken his eye off the ball during a run of four missed cuts in five starts, becomes the fifth youngest player in history to win two majors.
The only four to beat him were Young Tom Morris nearly 150 years ago, John McDermott just before the First World War, Gene Sarazen just after it and Seve Ballesteros. The previous biggest margin was Jack Nicklaus' seven strokes at Oak Hill in 1980.
Joint halfway leader Woods, who missed McIlroy's initial success in Washington through injury, finished down in 11th place, his Sunday destined to be remembered most for him being attacked by a prickly pear cactus.
It was England's Ian Poulter who staged a stirring last-round comeback that threatened for a while to turn the final major of the season into a thriller, but in the end it was 38-year-old Lynn, playing only his second major and with one victory in 370 European Tour events, who finished strongest to claim the runner-up spot and with it a debut in the Masters next April.
After winning the first tournament to have 99 of the game's top 100 in it McIlroy said: "I don't think I have let it sink in yet. "It was a great round of golf - I am speechless. The game-plan was just to play solid. I got off to a bit of a shaky start, but settled into it and I thought my putting today was phenomenal. Thanks dad and thanks mum - I'm sure she's watching at home. I had a good feeling at the start, but I never imagined doing this.
"It means an awful lot to look at the names on that trophy and put mine alongside them."