"It's very special. I just tried to treat it like any other day".
"It's just another step in the journey".
"The 18th tee shot was the one", he said, "that was probably the most hard shot that I had all day; knowing I had a 4 to win".
And while Johnson is still the world's top-ranked player, and Brooks Koepka can stare at multiple major trophies on his shelf anytime he pleases, there now exists an incontrovertible fact in the wake of McIlroy's torrid stretch that he capped Sunday with a one-shot win at The Players Championship. He responded with his best shot of the day to 15 feet for birdie.
Furyk had surged into contention with a closing 67, a round which included an eagle, five birdies and two bogeys on the challenging Stadium Course layout.
McIlroy had said at the start of the year in Hawaii that he was entering a second phase of his career, even as he has learned to look at the big picture in an Instagram world.
No matter. He was in the lead, facing a Sunday pairing with Fleetwood as he goes for the most important win of his young career.
McIlroy's win came after close calls at all five of his previous starts this year.
McIlroy ended that discussion on Sunday.
They shared the lead at 12-under 132, three shots clear of anyone else. Then he parred the iconic par 3, 17th; stuck with his driver on the 18th, hitting another massive drive; and smacked an aggressive approach shot and then two-putt for par and the win.
"If I go to Augusta with a similar golf game to what I have now and the attitude I've shown over the first few weeks of the year, I think I'll have a great chance", he told reporters. "I knew the (leading) guys weren't going to get away from us".
England's Eddie Pepperell scored a final-round 66 to tie for third a further shot back. Fleetwood has failed to come through for the second week in a row after taking a four-shot co-lead into the weekend at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
Migliozzi finished at 16-under 268.
He certainly passes the eye test, with a power game that appears perfectly suited to win on a long, open course like Augusta National, but how does his current game compare to recent winners on the eve of their victories?
Rory McIlroy has broken a string of near-misses with a brilliant victory in the Players Championship at Sawgrass. And I think that's been the big difference between the highs and lows of the last few years and the more consistent play. "And it took me a while to get to that point where I realized who those two people were".
Besides making history, McIlroy won on a golf course where he missed the cut during his first two appearances, skipped the 2011 event and missed the cut again in 2012.
A quick glance of the woman's bag showed sandwiches, cookies, crisps and a soft-drink and in what was a real picnic scene around the green in the hot and humid conditions. It doesn't change who I am.
"I don't play golf to answer". One group later, Jhonattan Vegas holed a putt from the bottom left to the top right pin position, just under 70 feet, the longest putt made on the island green since the PGA Tour had lasers to measure them. Rickie Fowler admitted he considered The Players as a major tournament. News broke early in the week that he was working on the greens with new instructor Matt Killen.
Woods said after his round that he was happy with how he drove the ball and believes his game is close, which might be an overstatement. "I drove the ball well this week", added Woods, whose next outing will come at the WGC?Dell Technologies Match Play from March 27-31 at Austin, Texas.