Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland poses with the Wanamaker Trophy after winning the 2014 PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Kentucky, on August 10, 2014. Picture: John Sommers II

Louisville, Kentucky - Pre-tournament favourite Rory McIlroy recovered from a stumbling start and overcame a series of challenges to clinch his fourth major title by one shot at the PGA Championship on Sunday.

A stroke in front of the chasing pack overnight, the Northern Irish world number one regained control after the turn before signing off with a three-under-par 68 at Valhalla Golf Club for a 16-under total of 268.

Phil Mickelson birdied the par-five 18th to finish alone in second with a closing 66, with Swede Henrik Stenson (66) and American Rickie Fowler (68) a further stroke back in third.

McIlroy got within a stroke of the lead with a spectacular eagle at the par-five 10th, where he hit his second shot from 281 yards to seven feet, before effectively sealing the title with birdies at the 13th and 17th.

In gathering gloom at Valhalla, where play had been suspended earlier in the day for just under two hours due to water-logged conditions, McIlroy parred the last hole to win his third consecutive title on the PGA Tour, and his second major this year. - Reuters