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Sports Then and Now



Move Over Tiger! Rory McIlroy Dominates the U.S. Open 2

Posted on June 19, 2011 by Dean Hybl

The 22-year-old Rory McIlroy dominated the field at the 2011 U.S. Open.

It seems pretty ironic that the first U.S. Open played without the most dominant golfer of the last 15 years would serve as the coming out party for a 22-year-old golfer who dominated the tournament like no golfer other than Tiger Woods has ever done. Rory McIlroy broke so many records in claiming his first Major Championship that many now wonder if McIlroy could be golf’s next superstar.

If you happened to turn the television off after the first 63 holes of the Masters earlier this year and not pay attention to golf until now, you probably aren’t at all surprised that McIlroy led from wire-to-wire at the U.S. Open.

He was doing basically the same thing at the Masters before the wheels suddenly came off over the final  nine holes. McIlroy led by four strokes entering the final round and still had the lead at the 10th tee. However, he shot a 43 over the final nine and finished 10 strokes off the pace in a tie for 15th place.

Because of that record-setting collapse (his 80 was the worst score ever in the final round by a player who entered the final round leading the Masters), many were skeptical even when he opened the 2011 U.S. Open with a six-under 65 and followed it with a 66 to post the best first two-day score in U.S. Open history.

After shooting a 68 in the third round to take an eight stroke lead into the final round, even his opponents were hoping that McIlroy wouldn’t suffer another meltdown.

They needn’t worry as he birdied the first hole and never looked back as his final score of -16 (65-66-68-69=268) was the lowest score in U.S. Open history and four shots better than the -12 posted by Tiger Woods at the 2000 U.S. Open. All told, he established 12 new tournament records during his dominant victory. Read the rest of this entry →

  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Larry “The Zonk” Csonka
      January 29, 2022 | 4:43 pm
      Larry Csonka

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month was the leader of a running attack that was the cornerstone of two Super Bowl Championship teams, including the only undefeated squad in NFL history.

      With his distinctive headgear and a body suited for punishing contact, Larry Csonka looked the part of a fullback and for 11 NFL seasons delivered and took regular punishment on his way to the Hall of Fame.

      Following in the great tradition of Jim Brown, Ernie Davis, Jim Nance and Floyd Little, Csonka earned All-American honors at Syracuse while rushing for 2,934 yards.  He began earning a name for himself as the Most Valuable Player of the East–West Shrine Game, the Hula Bowl, and the College All-Star Game.

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