• US PGA Championship

McIlroy: Criticism motivated me to win again

ESPN staff
August 13, 2012

US PGA Championship leaderboard

Rory McIlroy says barbs over his recent form spurred him on as he blitzed the field at the US PGA Championship.

McIlroy surged to his second major title on Sunday evening, becoming the third youngest double major-winner of the modern era after Jack Nicklaus. His eight-shot victory on the Ocean Course was inspired, he believes, by his harshest critics.

"I don't think I could have answered [the criticism] in any better way," McIlroy said. "And yeah, to be honest, it did motivate me. I did want to go out there and prove a few people wrong. That's what I did.

"I was a little frustrated with how I was playing earlier on in the year, but a few people in this room were probably pushing panic buttons for no reason."

McIlroy finished the Masters in a share of 40th place earlier in the year, and missed the cut entirely at the US Open. The Ulsterman also missed weekend action at The Players Championship, the BMW PGA Championship and at The Memorial.

After completing his third round on Sunday morning with a 67, McIlroy powered through the final round with a stunning 66 as his rivals for the title slipped off the pace. Rising to world No. 1 as a result of the victory, McIlroy says he wanted to absorb as much of the occasion as possible.

"I allowed myself the luxury of walking up 18 knowing that I was going to win," said McIlroy. "I enjoyed the moment, just let it all sink in."

The Northern Irishman also confirmed he would not have worn a red shirt had Tiger Woods - famed for wearing the colour in the final round of majors - been paired with him.

"I might have to do it from now on. No wonder he wins so much," joked McIlroy.

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