By N.Ireland_1. Last Updated: June 5, 2013 2:26pm
Aged just 22, McIlroy sent a shockwave through the golfing world by smashing records galore on his way to an eight-shot victory in last year's US Open at Congressional. Just six weeks earlier the Northern Irishman's bid for a first major had gone up in smoke after a final round collapse at Augusta but this time he put so much daylight between himself and the pack that Sunday at Congressional turned into a coronation. McIlroy's winning total of 16-under was a new US Open record in relation to par (beating Tiger Woods' previous best of -12 at Pebble Beach in 2000) while his four-round aggregate of 268 was also a new mark by four shots. His performance also earned him an MBE in the 2012 New Years Honours. This season he showed great maturity to hold off a charging Tiger at the Honda Classic but, despite getting into good position at halfway, he again had a disappointing weekend at Augusta. At the time it seemed a temporoary blip but, out of nowhere, McIlroy's form suddenly nosedived as he missed three straight cuts (Players Championship, BMW PGA Championship and Memorial). However, the decision to try and get some competitive rounds in by playing last week's St Jude Classic certainly paid off as he made a strong run at the title before finishing tied seventh.