I don’t know if Rory McIlroy’s 2014 PGA Championship win over Phil Mickelson, Rickie Fowler and a host of other bit players was the best PGA ever, but it was maybe the most entertaining one for me in recent memory.
On the 100th anniversary of the PGA Championship, the PGA of America is letting fans vote on their favorite (so go vote!), and I’m here to make the case for 2014.
The 2014 PGA at Valhalla had all the elements of an all-time major championship.
- Elite winner: Check
- Insane duel with multiple stars: Check
- Iconic (and memorable) shot: Semi-check
- Bizarre (and possibly controversial!) ending: Check
I think sometimes it’s easy to forget just how wild that Sunday at Valhalla actually was. McIlroy started the final round one up on Bernd Wiesberger and two up on Rickie Fowler. After a lengthy rain delay in which McIlroy had to change his iPhone password because it was broadcast to the country, he got off to the worst start, and the race was on for the 96th PGA.
Seriously, look at this madness over the final round.
Ultimately, the four-time major winner necked a 3-wood into the par-5 10th hole, made eagle and closed out the win with a par on the 72nd hole in the dark for victory. In between all of that, a lot happened. Mickelson and Fowler yukked it up and high-fived throughout the day, McIlroy hit another incredible shot on the par-4 17th in the near dark and also played into the Mickelson-Fowler pairing ahead of him in an effort to get to the house before dusk.
.@McIlroyRory won the 2014 #PGAChamp in thrilling fashion (and in the dark).
Cast your votes & see who’s leading the #PGA100 polls! It’s a tight race between McIlroy & Sarazen: https://t.co/2jqbKStCbo pic.twitter.com/mHsliBNIIM
— PGA Championship (@PGAChampionship) July 26, 2018
It added up to one of the wildest days in recent major championship history as well as Rory’s fourth major at the age of 25.
“I guess I just crouched down just to try and gather my thoughts a little bit and just think back about what has happened this summer and what a great run of golf it’s been,” McIlroy said after his second straight major win. “I’ll probably do a lot more thinking about that over the next few days, but I was just trying to let it all sort of sink in.”
One for the ages? I don’t know, but certainly one to remember in the modern era.