Some big names brought their "A" games but in the end, the leader prevailed.
Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland is your 2014 British Open champion after a thrilling week of action at the Royal Liverpool Golf Club, finishing two shots ahead of his nearest challengers at 17 under par.
Thanks to mostly favorable playing conditions at Hoylake, fans were treated to impressive hitting throughout the week, especially from McIlroy. Two exhilarating eagles near the end of end Round 3 may have ultimately won him the tournament, giving him a six shot lead heading into the tournament's final day.
On Sunday, Sergio Garcia posed the biggest threat to McIlroy's third career major title. Garcia made an eagle of his own on the 10th hole to get within two shots of the lead, but couldn't narrow the gap any further. He recovered nicely after a missed bunker shot on 15, but was ultimately forced to settle for a tie for second place at 15 under par—his second runner-up performance at The Open.
Rickie Fowler continued his string of strong performances at majors in 2014. His strongest challenge to McIlroy came from a sizzling start to Day 3, briefly giving him a share of the lead before he faltered. Fowler outplayed Garcia down the stretch on Sunday to claim his share of second place, finishing three shots behind McIlroy. Jim Furyk posted an impressive 65 on Sunday to finish fourth at 13 under par.
2013 Open champion Phil Mickelson shot a 68 on Sunday to end his week at five under, tied for 23rd, while Tiger Woods' major comeback fizzled down the stretch. His fourth-round 75 left him six-over for the tournament.
After a rough 2013 season, McIlroy has been a model of consistency at the majors this year, finishing in the top five of the year's first three majors. He's also the third-youngest player to win his third major championship, trailing only Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods.
Up next, McIlroy can set his sights on a career grand slam when he returns to Augusta for The Masters in 2015.
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