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September 22, 2017

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McIlroy wins dramatic shootout, takes PGA title

LOUISVILLE, Kentucky -- Rory McIlroy put himself among golf's greatest legends Sunday by winning his fourth major title in dramatic fashion, capturing the PGA Championship in a shotmakers' showdown at rain-softened Valhalla.

Three weeks after winning the British Open, the 25-year-old from Northern Ireland rallied on the back nine to take his second major victory in a row and third consecutive triumph overall in impressive fashion.

"Amazing. Incredible. I'm not sure I'll ever have another summer like this," McIlroy said. "I've got a lot of golf left to play this year, but I have to enjoy what I've just done."

McIlroy fired a three-under par 68 in the final round to finish 72 holes on 16-under par 268 and edge five-time major winner Phil Mickelson by one shot with Sweden's fourth-ranked Henrik Stenson and American Rickie Fowler two adrift.

McIlroy's hat-trick of victories after the British Open and a World Golf Championships event last week give him the longest win streak since Tiger Woods completed a run of five in a row in 2008.

McIlroy became the fourth-youngest man to win his fourth major — trailing only Young Tom Morris, Woods and Jack Nicklaus — and has taken four of the past 15 majors contested.

"I try and put all this talk aside every time it comes up, but Tiger and Jack are two of the most successful players in our sport of all time," McIlroy said.

"I'm on a nice track at the minute and I'm on a nice path. I've still got a long way to go, but to be in their company at this age is very special."

McIlroy is the first man to win two majors in a row or in the same year since Ireland's Padraig Harrington took the British Open and PGA in 2008.

Combined with German Martin Kaymer's U.S. Open triumph in June, McIlroy's double means Europeans have won three of four majors in a year for the first time.

McIlroy took the Wanamaker Trophy, even grabbing the lid as it fell during the awards ceremony, and a US$1.8 million top prize.

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