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G, S & B and PGA too

The medals were comparatively small and came in gold, silver and bronze varieties.

The trophy was silver and huge.

The combination electrified an Ireland in need of a good summer boost.

Katie Taylor's Olympic gold medal, John Joe Nevin's silver, and the bronze medals won by Paddy Barnes, Michael Conlan and Cian O'Connor at the London Olympics were, by historical standards, a veritable cornucopia.

Rory McIlroy's stunning eight shot margin of victory in the PGA, his second major win, was a cup runneth over as the 23-year-old laid claim to the Wanamaker trophy, a prize that was raised by Irish hands, those of Padraig Harrington, for the first time just four years ago.

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The statistics said much if not all about a few summer days that will go down in Irish sporting annals.

The Olympic medal tally was the highest since Melbourne in 1956 and precisely matched the 1-1-3 combination of that year when Ronnie Delaney won gold in the 1500 meters.

And while the United States topped the medal table in London, fending off China, Russia and a surging British team, Ireland joined the 79 out of 204 competing nations that made it into the medal count and ended up in 41st place, high indeed in proportion to population.

And in proportion to population what is there left to say about Rory McIlroy and Irish golfing success?

Well, McIlroy's PGA win made him the youngest winner of the tournament since Tiger Woods in 1999, and the second youngest multiple major champion since the late Seve Ballesteros.

McIlroy's eight shot winning margin at Kiawah Island exactly matched the distance between him and the rest of the field when he won last year's

U.S. open at Congressional.

And his win continues a most extraordinary run for Irish golf that began with Padraig Harrington's British Open win at Carnoustie in 2007. After having only one major to ponder - Fred Daly's 1947 British Open success - Irish golf has now notched up seven majors in the last five years with Harrington's three, McIlroy's two, and major wins by Graeme McDowell and Darren Clarke.

"Irish golf is going through an amazing period of success and Rory is at the vanguard of that charge," was how Taoiseach Enda Kenny felt compelled to put it.

 

 

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