LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — The challenge finally arrived for Rory McIlroy, and he was better than ever to win the PGA Championship.
On a back nine filled with as much tension as a major can provide, McIlroy emerged from a four-man battle with flawless golf to outlast Phil Mickelson and the darkness Sunday at Valhalla and capture his second straight major.
McIlroy closed with a 3-under 68 and became only the fourth player in the last century of golf to win four majors at 25 or younger. The others were Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus and Bobby Jones, three of the game's greatest players.
One of the greatest shows on soggy turf came with a most peculiar ending.
McIlroy hit a 9-iron from a fairway bunker on the 17th hole to 10 feet and made the birdie putt to take a two-shot lead to the par-5 18th. Because of a two-hour rain delay, darkness was falling quickly and it wasn't certain McIlroy would be able to finish.
He was allowed to tee off even before Mickelson and Rickie Fowler had reached their golf balls in the fairway. Both were only two shots behind and still in the game. McIlroy came within a yard of hitting into a hazard right of the fairway. Mickelson and Fowler had to stand to the side of the green to allow McIlroy to play his second shot.
The 25-year-old from Northern Ireland hit into a bunker and two-putted from 35 feet for a one-shot win.
Moments earlier, Mickelson came within inches of chipping in for eagle. He settled for a 66 and a runner-up finish for the ninth time in a major.
Fowler, the first player in history to finish in the top five at all four majors without winning, also had a chance with a long eagle putt. He missed badly, and then missed the short birdie putt.
Fowler closed with a 68 and tied for third with Henrik Stenson (66).
McIlroy finished at 16-under 268. The victory was his third in a row, following the British Open and World Golf Championship event last week at Firestone.
MEIJER LPGA CLASSIC
BELMONT, Mich. (AP) — Mirim Lee won the Meijer LPGA Classic for her first LPGA Tour victory, outlasting fellow South Korean player Inbee Park with a birdie on the second hole of a playoff.
The long-hitting Lee drove into greenside bunker on the second extra hole — the short par-4 17th — and blasted out to 5 feet. After Park's 15-foot birdie try lipped out, Lee holed her putt for the victory.
They each parred the 18th to open the playoff. Park's approach shot hit the cup on the way past and she missed a 15-foot birdie try. Lee two-putted from 35 feet.
The 23-year-old Lee, a rookie on the LPGA Tour, closed with a 2-under 69 to match Park at 14-under 270. Park, a 10-time tour winner, finished with a 70.
Norway's Suzann Pettersen was a stroke back after a 69.
U.S. WOMEN'S AMATEUR
GLEN COVE, N.Y. (AP) — Kristen Gillman rallied to win the U.S. Women's Amateur, beating Canada's Brooke Mackenzie Henderson 2 up in the 36-hole final at Nassau Country Club.
The 16-year-old Gillman, from Austin, Texas, lost the 25th and 26th to fall 3 down. She won the par-4 27th with a birdie, cut it to 1 down with a birdie win on the par-4 30th and pulled even with another birdie win on the par-4 32nd. Gillman took the lead with a birdie win on the par-5 33rd, matched the 16-year-old Henderson with pars on the 34th and 35th and took the par-4 36th with a birdie after hitting a 9-iron to 3 feet.
Gillman, coming off an 11-stroke victory last week in the Junior PGA Championship, is set to attend the University of Alabama in 2016.
Henderson, from Smith Falls, Ontario, failed in her bid to become the third Canadian winner in tournament history. Marlene Stewart accomplished the feat in 1956, and Cathy Sherk did it in 1978.
PRICE CUTTER CHARITY CHAMPIONSHIP
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) — Australia's Cameron Percy won his first Web.Com Tour title, birdieing the final two holes for a one-stroke victory over four players in the Price Cutter Charity Championship.
The 40-year-old Percy, a five-time winner on the Australasian Tour, closed with a 5-under 67 to finish at 21-under 267 at Highland Springs. He earned $121,500 to jump from 33rd to 12th on the money list with $217,347. The top 25 after the final two regular-season events will earn 2014-15 PGA Tour cards.
Brandt Jobe, Zac Blair, Michael Kim and Carlos Sainz Jr. tied for second. Jobe finished with a 65, Blair had a 66, and Kim and Sainz shot 67. Kim was penalized a stroke on No. 18 for lifting his ball in the rough.
NEW ENGLAND CHARITY CLASSIC
GOFFSTOWN, N.H. (AP) — Sadena Parks won for her second Symetra Tour title in three weeks, beating Jackie Stoelting with a par on the second hole of a playoff in the New England Charity Classic.
Parks, the 24-year-old former University of Washington player from Tacoma, won the SEFCU Championship two weeks ago in Albany, New York, to become the second black winner in Symetra Tour history. LaRee Sugg was the first black champion on the developmental tour, winning in 1998 in Pewaukee, Wisconsin.
Parks earned $15,000 to jump from sixth to third on the money list with $51,615. The top 10 after the final four events will earn 2015 LPGA Tour cards.
Parks closed with a 5-under 67 to match Stoelting at 8-under 208. Both players played the back nine in 5-under 31, with Parks birdieing the final two holes in regulation and Stoelting birdieing No. 18 for a 66.