Golf needed a Rory McIlroy.

It needed a feel good moment. A comeback story. Someone to root for.

Someone young and refreshing, who could breathe new life into a sport that had gone stale since its last young superstar melted down off the course.

Fortunately for McIlroy, and his sport, his epic meltdown came on the course just a couple months earlier, and that Augusta-sized collapse was the inspiration for Sunday’s runaway U.S. Open championship.

And it was fitting that McIlroy’s wire-to-wire finish was the first at the U.S. Open since Tiger Woods did so in 2002. He also became the youngest winner of a major since, you guessed it, Woods.

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