Fowler, putting in near darkness, had his birdie putt lip out to drop him two strokes back. On the 18th hole, McIlroy hit his second shot in the greenside bunker.
“It was so dark, I was worried about my depth perception in the bunker,” McIlroy said. “So I decided to just chunk it out, take my two putts and got out of there.”
Nonetheless, he had to two-putt from 34 feet. McIlroy left himself an 18-inch final putt to seal the victory.
When rain bombarded the course early Sunday afternoon, there was standing water on seemingly every fairway, and some greens became little ponds.
Work crews used squeegees to thrust the accumulated rainwater into the course’s drainage areas.
After the sun emerged, much of the standing water receded. Play resumed at 2:44 p.m., and the tee time of the final pairing of McIlroy and Wiesberger was announced for 4:19. The hope was that the final duo could play in about four hours and beat the 8:43 sunset.
McIlroy’s final putt fell into the 18th hole at 8:43 p.m. (NYT)
Lefty can’t right horrors of 2014
Associated Press: Phil Mickelson wasn’t about to let a strong showing at the PGA Championship brighten the way he felt about this year.
Mickelson was part of a riveting four-man duel in the rain-delayed final round, but a costly bogey at the 16th denied him a chance to break his longest winless stretch since 2003. He closed with a 5-under 66 for a 15-under 269 total.
“I’ve got some regrouping to do these next three or four months,’’ Mickelson said Sunday, standing in the darkness of Valhalla after losing to McIlroy by a single shot. “I have some glaring areas in my game that I have to work on.’’
For Mickelson, it was an encouraging performance after a largely disappointing season. He hasn’t won since the 2013 British Open and wasn’t a factor in the first three majors. Now, it’s time for the 44-year-old to get to work. “I feel like if I’m able to continue to be strong and healthy and sharp in these areas of my game, I should have four or five good years,’’ he said. “These next three or four months will be critical for me making sure that I address the issues and that I’m ready to go in 2015.’’
Mickelson had a lengthy list of his most pressing concerns. “Short irons were terrible this year as a whole. It’s usually a strength, and I’ve got to get that back,’’ he said. Then Mickelson mentioned his driving, especially missing the fairway at the 16th and 17th holes. “Those two tee shots hurt. Those are things I’ve got to address. I’ve got to. I don’t mind being wild, but when you’ve got to get in the fairway, you’ve got to be able to do it.’’