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Rory McIlroy claims crucial first major

Updated: July 21, 2011, 3:25 PM ET
By Bob Harig | ESPN.com

BETHESDA, Md. -- Being destined for greatness can be a heavy burden. Ask any player lugging around that best-player-without-a-major baggage how that weight tends to drag him down as time marches on.

That is why Rory McIlroy's U.S. Open victory Sunday -- whatever the margin -- was so big, so important, and partially a relief.

No longer will he have to answer questions about the Masters meltdown. No longer will his near-misses in majors be viewed as a negative.

In ...

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