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The young Northern Irishman looked likely to miss the cut on Friday afternoon until making an eagle three on his 16th hole. He made the weekend right on the mark at one-over-par.
The second half of the tournament was a different story for the 20-year-old. He played a fine third round of 66 to put himself right back in the mix, then came out all guns blazing on Sunday. He made four birdies on the front nine as he reached the turn in 32. Then, unbelievably, he stepped up the pace on the run for home finishing with six consecutive threes including an eagle at the par-5 15th.
"I suppose I got into the zone," he said. "I hadn't realised I was going to 9, 10 under. I just know I got my nose in front and I was just trying to stay there."
The victory has put McIlroy back into the top-10 in the world. The youngster's fortunes have changed dramatically since he missed the cut at the Masters and suggested he would take a break from the game.
"The last two days, it seemed as if everything had just gone right," he said.
Masters champion Phil Mickelson was left in McIlroy's wake as was two-time Major winner Angel Cabrera. Although both played excellent closing rounds of 68, they could only watch as McIlroy roared away from them.
"I've got to congratulate Rory," Mickelson said. "He played some incredible golf. He's an amazing talent. You knew he was going to come out and win out here. He is some kind of player."
In finishing second Mickelson has closed the gap to Tiger Woods (who missed the cut at Quail Hollow) at the top of the World Ranking. Lefty could take the top spot next week at the Players Championship.
Padraig Harrington finished the week in a tie for seventh.
Quail Hollow Championship Quail Hollow Club, Charlotte, North Carolina April 29 - May 2, purse $6,400,000, par 72
1 Rory McIlroy (NIR) 72 73 66 62 273 $1,170,000 2 Phil Mickelson (USA) 70 68 71 68 277 $702,000 3 Angel Cabrera (Arg) 70 67 73 68 278 $442,000 4 Brendon de Jonge (RSA) 70 73 70 66 279 $312,000 5 Bo Van Pelt (USA) 65 76 71 68 280 $260,000 6 Rickie Fowler (USA) 73 70 71 67 281 $234,000 T7 Padraig Harrington (Ire) 72 72 70 68 282 $175,964 T7 Matt Jones (Aus) 74 71 69 68 282 $175,964 T7 Scott McCarron (USA) 70 75 67 70 282 $178,964 T7 Mark Wilson (USA) 73 72 70 67 282 $179,964 T7 Jim Furyk (USA) 75 65 71 71 282 $179,964 T7 J.J. Henry (USA) 68 71 71 72 282 $179,964 T7 Anthony Kim (USA) 72 69 70 71 282 $179,964
Fergus is a golf obsessive and 1-handicapper. Growing up in the North East of Scotland, golf runs through his veins and it was concentrated by his time at St Andrews university studying history. He went on to earn a post graduate diploma from the London School of Journalism. Fergus has worked for Golf Monthly since 2004 and has written two books on the game; "Great Golf Debates" together with Jezz Ellwood of Golf Monthly and "The Ultimate Golf Book" together with Neil Tappin (also of Golf Monthly)... Fergus once shanked a ball from just over Granny Clark's Wynd on the 18th of the Old Course that struck the St Andrews Golf Club and rebounded into the Valley of Sin, from where he saved par. Who says there's no golfing god?
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