Rory McIlroy is unruffled by late arrival as he hands Keegan Bradley his first defeat of the Ryder Cup
Last Updated: 01/10/12 6:45am
Rory McIlroy beat Keegan Bradley in a high quality match
Rory McIlroy overcame his bizarre late arrival to produce golf worthy of a world No 1 as he clinched a 2&1 victory over Keegan Bradley.
McIlroy turned up at Medinah in a police car with just 10 minutes to spare after a mix-up over his tee time, but a strong finish handed Bradley his first defeat in four matches.
The USPGA champion opened with three solid pars despite not having time to warm up, and he converted an excellent approach to the fourth to go one up.
Battling Bradley drained an 18-footer for a half at the next, and McIlroy's approach came up short at the sixth before he chipped in to double his lead.
McIlroy missed from eight feet at seven, and Bradley took advantage of the reprieve and nailed a 10-foot birdie putt at the next to pull a hole back.
But the world No 1 responded with another pure iron to three feet for birdie to turn two ahead, although Bradley replied instantly at the next.
McIlroy did well to save par and preserve his lead at 11, but he pulled his drive at the 12th and his par putt lipped out to bring the two youngsters all square.
An exquisite bunker escape at 14 set up a birdie to take the Northern Irishman back into the lead, and he clipped a delightful wedge to three feet at the next and nailed the putt.
McIlroy held his nerve to rap in a five-footer for par at the 16th, and a cast-iron three at the 17th closed out a high-quality match.