Rory McIlroy captured his first Major Championship in June 2011, when he won the US Open at Congressional by eight shots. It was an emotional win for McIlroy, who had seemed a certain winner of the US Masters two months earlier when leading by four shots, but had scored a final round 80.
McIlroy more than made up for that disappointment with his US Open victory which broke many records. At 22, he was the youngest winner since Bobby Jones in 1923, he finished with a record score of 16-under-par and it was a record total of 268, beating the previous lowest score by four. In October, he won the richest prize in golf, the US$2 million first prize at the Shanghai Masters, after a play-off against Anthony Kim.
Breakthrough of the Year 2012

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