Rory McIlroy stood over a 12-footer for birdie on the 72nd hole of the Australian Open. You could feel the tension in the air (or even through the TV and the announcers’ voices) — Adam Scott had just bogeyed to drop to 17-under for the tournament and opened the door for McIlroy, who trailed by a shot heading into the final hole, to win in regulation, or at worst, likely, force a playoff.
McIlroy, who putted beautifully on Sunday, stroked the putt and there was never a doubt it was going in the hole, as the 24-year-old from Northern Ireland raised his arms in celebration, along with a deep sigh of relief. After all, it hadn’t been the smoothest time for Rory on- and- off- the course in 2013. But this win has salvaged an otherwise somewhat forgettable year.