By Michael Carman
Peninsula Daily News
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The two seemingly simple words summed up the thought process behind Rory McIlroy’s wire-to-wire win at the British Open.
“That was it,” McIlroy told reporters following his victory, the third jewel in the career major grand slam for the 25-year old Northern Irishman.
“With my long shots I just wanted to stick to my process and stick to making good decisions, making good swings. And then “spot” was for my putting.
“I was just picking a spot on the green and trying to roll it over my spot, roll it over my spot every time. I wasn’t thinking about holing it. If that went in, then great.
“If it didn’t, then I’d try it the next hole. So ‘process’ and ‘spot,’ that’s all I kept telling myself all week.”
The win is a terrific accomplishment, cementing McIlroy as the third-youngest man to win three of the four major tournaments.
Being third is no small feat: the youngest were Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods, who also happen to have won more majors than any other men.
Heady company, indeed.
I personally felt McIlroy had done the bulk of the work to sew up the tournament when he rattled off eagles on the Par-5 16th and 18th holes on Saturday.
With the eagles, McIlroy beat back a stiff challenge from Rickie Fowler, and went from tied for the lead to a six-stroke cushion in less than an hour of play.
“Those two eagles went a long way in deciding this championship,” McIlroy said.
“To be able to pull clear like that was nice.
“It gave me that cushion. I wanted to shoot four under [Sunday] to be safe but didn’t quite get to that. Didn’t quite need to, thankfully.”
McIlroy had some struggles in his Sunday round but neither Fowler, who posted his second straight runner-up finish in a major, nor Sergio Garcia could quite catch him.
On two occasions, Garcia cut the six-stroke lead to two but the race was effectively over when he left a shot in a greenside pot bunker on the 15th hole.
McIlroy followed that up by sticking his tee shot in the fairway on the 16th hole and closing out the hole with a birdie.
All that was left was a long-awaited post-major championship hug with his mum, Rosie, who had been unable to make it across the pond for his first two major wins.
McIlroy handled the realization of his childhood dream with aplomb, making clear how thankful and “glad” he was to have won the tournament of his dreams.
“The Open is the one that we all want, the one we all strive for,” McIlroy said to the crowd gathered around the 18th green.
There’s at least one more major that McIlroy wants, a certain jacket from Augusta National, to round out his collection.
Fitting for a man who has represented Ireland in youth tournaments growing up (as all Northern Ireland citizens do) that the color of that jacket is green.
I wouldn’t put winning that fourth major next spring past him either.
Right now I’d also set him up as the favorite for August’s PGA Championship.
He was just that stellar.
Cedars at Dungeness golf course in Sequim will host a demo day with the most popular brand in golf, TaylorMade, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. today.
More tour pros play TaylorMade drivers than any other brand.
Noted college football broadcaster Brent Musberger will head up a list of sports celebrities participating in the fourth annual Sonny Sixkiller Husky Golf Classic presented by Wilder Auto Center.
The tourney is set for Cedars at Dungeness on Friday.
Sixkiller has lined up a who’s who list of more than 30 Husky legends to play in the tournament, including former Husky greats Bob Schloredt, Michael Jackson, Nesby Glasgow, Marques Tuiasosopo, Greg Lewis, Robin Earl and Steve Emtman.
Former Port Angeles High School player Scott Jones, the only Roughrider to have played in the NFL, also will play in the event.
Jones’ NFL career came after a college career with Washington.
The event benefits the Olympic Medical Center Foundation.
For more information, phone 360-417-7144.
Junior clinic slated
Discovery Bay’s summer junior clinic will run from Monday through Thursday, Aug. 11-14.
Cost is $65 per player.
Phone the Discovery Bay golf shop at 360-385-0704 to sign up.
Port Angeles Invite
Sign up soon for the 37th annual Port Angeles Shotgun Invitational at Peninsula Golf Club on Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 30-31.
The two-person team tournament features a best ball format on both days with an eight stroke differential and 1/2 combined handicap.
Tee times are 8 a.m. and 1:15 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
If the field fills a total of $13,000 in prizes will be up for grabs.
There will be merchandise prizes and gross and net prizes in two men’s divisions and one ladies division.
Entry is $240 per team and is limited to 104 men’s teams and 16 ladies teams with a max handicap of 36 per team.
Entrants must be 21 years of age or older and the Aug. 16 GHIN handicap index will be used.
A practice round for all contestants and their spouses is part of the entry fee and is set for Friday, Aug. 29.
An evening of hors d’oeuvres will follow at 6 p.m. with a Calcutta auction set for 7 p.m.
Power carts are available for $40 per day, let the Peninsula Pro Shop know well ahead of time if you need a cart so they can plan accordingly.
To get signed up for the tournament, visit the pro shop or phone 360-457-6501.
Golf columnist Michael Carman can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5152 or firstname.lastname@example.org.