Rory McIlroy wins 2014 Open Championship

Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy claimed his first Open Championship title with a two-shot victory at Royal Liverpool in a breathless finish that left many wishing play had continued for another day.

McIlroy began the final day with a six-shot lead which was quickly whittled down to just two by a battling Sergio Garcia with three holes left to play.

Showing a level of mental toughness that often time doesn’t seem to be in his repertoire, McIlroy held his nerve to make a two-putt birdie on 16 to stretch his lead to three. He then followed that by getting up and down from 40 yards at 17 for a par, and then made a par five at 18 for a one-under 71.

Rory finished two clear of a clearly disappointed Garcia, who will once again be labelled the ‘nearly man’ after yet another near miss at a major championship – despite him closing with a 66 – alongside the impressive Rickie Fowler.

American Fowler birdied three of the last four holes to card a 67, meaning he has now finished fifth, second and second in this year’s major events. It is the tenth time that Garcia has finished in the top five at a major event as his wait for a break in fortune drags on for the Spaniard.

However, McIlroy wins his third major title after Sunday and will now head to Augusta next year in the hopes of completing a career Grand Slam at the age of 25.

The Northern Irishman becomes just the third man in the modern era after Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus to win three majors by the age of 25.

The win pushes McIlroy back up to second in the World Rankings and he now needs to win The Masters to join Gene Sarazen, Ben Hogan, Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods as the only men to have won all four majors.

Final leaderboard

-17 R McIlroy (NI)

-15 R Fowler (US)

-15 S Garcia (Spn)

-13 J Furyk (US)

-12 M Leishman (Aus)

-12 A Scott (Aus)

What’s in Rory’s Bag?

Driver: Nike Golf VRS Covert 2.0 Tour Driver

3Woods, 15 degree: Nike Golf VR_S Covert Fairway Wood

Irons: Nike Golf VR Pro Blade Irons, Nike VR Pro Irons

Wedges: Nike Golf VR Forged Wedge

Putter: Nike Golf Method 006 Putter

Ball: Nike Golf RZN Black Golf Balls