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Birdies and bogeys: Rory McIlroy a winner; the course, not so much

Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland kisses the championships

Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland kisses the championships trophy for photographers after the final round of the PGA Championship golf tournament on the Ocean Course of the Kiawah Island Golf Resort in Kiawah Island, S.C. (Aug. 12, 2012) Credit: AP

As soon as he reached the Kiawah Island (S.C.) clubhouse, Rory McIlroy looked around and told his caddie and some friends, "I just have a good feeling about this week." That meant only one thing: He must have had a condo so close that he did not have to get on the roads.

Think of the Cross Bronx Expressway at rush hour with two lanes closed for construction and you get the idea of how traffic moved on the one road on and off the island.

McIlroy turned out to be exactly right about his own prospect for the PGA Championship, which had its share of winners and losers:

BIRDIE: McIlroy. The 23-year-old affirmed his status as golf's new force of nature with a second eight-shot rout in a major. "He has lapped the field twice now," Padraig Harrington said. "Rory is showing that with his 'A' game, everybody else is going to struggle to compete with him."

BOGEY:Tiger Woods. Again, he showed only warning-track power, getting in contention and not doing much once he got there. He said his problem was that he was too relaxed, but he sure looked intense out there. Ever consider a belly putter?

BIRDIE: The Barclays. There is no guarantee that all the top players will show up for the PGA Tour's FedEx Cup playoff tournament at Bethpage Black next week, but no one has said they won't. McIlroy, who joined the PGA Tour this year, said in Akron, Ohio, last week that he was looking forward to concentrating on the FedEx Cup. His ascent at the PGA, Woods' three-victory season and jostling for Ryder Cup spots all will make for good context.

BOGEY: The diet of South Carolina's alligator population. Really, how much nutrition can there be in two CBS microphones?

BIRDIE: John Daly. Wasn't just a one-day wonder. Played steady and had his best finish (a tie for 18th) in a major since the 2005 British Open.

PAR: Luke Donald. He admitted that the Pete Dye layout got the best of him. But he can look on the good side: he's no longer No. 1 in the world, which means less glare on his major-less resume.

BIRDIE: Phil Mickelson. He continued to struggle, but did make the Ryder Cup team and said he is pumped about the FedEx Cup.

BOGEY:Pete Dye's Ocean Course. The supposed "toughest course in the U.S.," according to one poll, but when the wind was light or average, the front nine was a cream puff. Ian Poulter birdies the first five holes on Sunday in a major?

BOGEY: Kiawah Island. Maybe that survey should have been "Toughest course to get to." Even Mickelson, one of the strongest diplomats on tour, said he felt bad for the fans' struggles and disappointments. Worse yet, there really was not a whole lot to see once they did get there. It seemed more like a day at the beach than a day at a major. Viewing areas for spectators were limited. Would have been a better site for "Survivor" than the PGA.

MULLIGAN: PGA of America. The professionals' organization always painstakingly tries to put on a great major and almost always succeeds. So it whiffed once. Everything will be 100 percent better next year at Oak Hill -- and in the future, when it brings the PGA Championship to Bethpage.

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