Northern Irishman Rory McIlroy admits he took some joy out of silencing the critics after annihilating the field to win the 2012 US PGA Championship by eight shots on Sunday.
The 23-year-old held a three-shot lead at the start of the day, but produced a brilliant final day round to ease to victory, even allowing himself to soak it all in on the 18th hole.
“It was a great round,” McIlroy said. “I’m speechless. I played solid the whole way this week. It’s been an incredible week.
“I had a good feeling at the start but it’s been unbelievable. I don’t think it has sunk in yet. It was a great round of golf.”
McIlroy had had his critics earlier in the year after struggling in majors, some blaming his relationship with tennis star Caroline Wozniacki, but said that motivated him to succeed.
“I was a little frustrated with how I was playing earlier on in the year, but a few people in this room were probably pushing panic buttons for no reason,” said McIlroy.
“I don’t think I could have answered it in any better way. To be honest, [the criticism] did motivate me. I did want to go out there and prove a few people wrong. That’s what I did.”
McIlroy’s success will see him become the youngest multiple major winner since Seve Ballesteros in 1980, while he’ll also return to the number one ranking.
The Northern Irishman finished ahead of England’s David Lynn in second, while nine shots behind were four others, Ian Poulter, Justin Rose, Keegan Bradley and Carl Pettersson.