Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland kisses the Claret Jug after winning the British Open Championship at the Royal Liverpool Golf Club in Hoylake. (REUTERS/Cathal McNaughton)
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Rory McIlroy joined the elite list of golfers to have won three of the four major titles at Hoylake Sunday, but he had to battle all the way against Sergio Garcia and Rickie Fowler before bagging his first British Open title.Starting with a whopping six-stroke lead, McIlroy confidently birdied the first, but back-to-back bogeys at five and six saw his lead halved as Garcia emerged from the chasing pack.But he birdied the 10th to keep his challengers at arm's length and then stood firm down the back nine against Garcia and a late push by Fowler. His third major title follows eight stroke triumphs in the 2011 US Open and the 2012 US PGA Championship. Suddenly it changed after McIlroy's back-to-back bogeys, followed shortly after by an eagle from Garcia at the 10th.Garcia saw his chances all but vanish when he took two shots to get out of a greenside pot bunker at the par-three 15th and a superb chip by McIlroy to set up par at the 17th sealed the deal.
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