Righto everyone, that's that for another year. It was meant to be McIlroy's title, it ended up being McIlroy's title and chances are he'll win a few more of them. He could well end up being Europe's greatest ever player - and one of a handful of greatest players ever. Night all.
- Rory McIlroy wins the Open by two shots on -17 after a round of 71
- Northern Irishman wins third major title at age of 25
- Garcia, Fowler tied for second on -15; Furyk -13; Leishman, Scott -12
- McDowell -10; Mickelson, Rose -5; Watson +1; Woods +6
Former European Tour golfer on BBC Radio 5 live
"In this day and age you see so many players trying to create torque and coil in their swing, but Rory has a type of swing that won't go away quickly. My old coach said you want a long swing when you're a kid because the older you get it will automatically shorten. His swing is going to last forever.
"Rory has learned from the stuff that's gone on in the last 18 months. He's a clever kid and he learns quickly."
Rickie Fowler carded his fourth consecutive round in the 60s to become only the third player in an Open to achieve the feat and not win.
The other two? Jesper Parnevik in 1994 and twice Open champion Ernie Els a year earlier.
Leading golf coach on BBC Radio 5 live
Rory's a streaky player but if he can find that consistency level over the next few years he's going to win a boatload of these majors. He's only 25. He's got a swing that's going to last and that's why he's a little bit streaky.
Rory McIlroy thanks the usual suspects as he holds the Claret Jug and gives his winner's speech: "The Open is the one we all want, the one we all strive for. To hold this Claret Jug is an amazing feeling.
"The course is a very, very good test of golf. I am delighted with the way it was set up, it seemed to work in my favour. The fans have turned out in their thousands and on behalf of all the players I'd like to say thank you. The support has been terrific all week. Even though I am a Manchester United fan, I still got good support.
"It was a pleasure to play with Rickie and no doubt your time will come, Sergio too. Two of the best players in the world. This is the first major my mother has been at that I have won, so mum, this one is for you. I can't wait to defend this at St Andrews next year."
BBC Sport commentator
"For home players, he goes to the top apart from Nick Faldo. He is heading in the direction to become a superstar of golf. A superstar of golf is someone who has won five majors or more.
"He is certainly in that league, a fantastic talent, he played some glorious golf, he has abilities others haven't got. Even if he hasn't got his A game he is still a tough man to beat.
"Today was tough but he stuck with it and still seemed confident he would win it."
Former world number oneLuke Donald: Well done Rory very classy indeed! #OpenChamp
Former Open championGary Player: Congratulations Rory McIlroy on a fantastic victory at The Open. One more for the Grand Slam.
Former Open winnerNick Faldo: Congratulations @McIlroyRory fantastic achievement! Grand Slam awaits!
Rickie Fowler and Sergio Garcia are welcomed to the stage as joint runners-up, they both receive a silver salver to stick on the top of the telly. Here's Rory McIlroy, 'Champion Golfer of the Year' for 2014...
So, the presentation has begun, McIlroy will be hugging the Jug in a few minutes, a moment he has probably been dreaming about since he was a wee lad, hitting it about with a plastic club in his back yard in Holywood.
Rickie Fowler, who finished tied for second with Sergio Garcia, on BBC One: "It was a battle for me, I didn't hit my best but I had to fight through it. I made a late run but got on the gas a little bit too late. Rory played very steady. He hit some great shots, a great par save on 17 ended my hopes.
"It has been successful year so far. The main goal was to be in contention in all four majors and we have one more left."
Fowler has finished in the top five in all three of the majors this year.
Open champion Rory McIlroy on BBC One: "It feels incredible. Today wasn't easy, a few guys were making runs at me, I needed to stay focused and concentrate. To win three legs of the four majors at 25 is a pretty good achievement, it is not going to sink in for a while.
"The lead never got less than two, I always felt I had that little cushion. Coming into the back nine I know I had holes where I could make birdie. Sixteen was the hole that settled the championship I think. I don't think it matters to my dad so much but the few mates he did the bet with will be very happy."
Rory confirms that his dad has indeed landed 50 grand, having put a punt on his son winning the Open by the age of 25 - when he was only 15. Not just his dad, quite a few of his pals, apparently...
BBC Sport commentator
"He has played some beautiful golf. A few little hiccups, moments of drama but what a wonderful champion we have. How proud we are in Great Britain."
McIlroy embraces dad Gerry, mum Rosie and other close family and friends outside the scorer's hut - and here he is, as if by magic, being interviewed by the BBC.. We'll tell you what he's saying in a moment...
BBC Radio 5 live presenter
"A British sporting superstar is born, because this is the moment that he'll be catapulted into the British sporting conscience unlike when he won his previous two majors."
BBC Sport commentator
"He worked hard as a kid, he loved it, his father loved it. He has done it. Three great championships under his belt. I wonder what he is thinking now?"
You can't say the chasing pack didn't give it a go but McIlroy's overnight lead was just too much. You have to think back to those two eagles yesterday afternoon - that's arguably what won it, giving him that extra bit of leeway and probably a couple more hours of sleep.
-17 McIlroy (NI); -15 Garcia (Spa), Fowler (US); -13 Furyk (US); -12 Leishman (Aus), Scott (Aus); -11 D Johnson (US), Schwartzel (SA), E Molinari (Ita).
McIlroy has a 10-footer for birdie at the last... doesn't borrow enough but that's a par, a round of 71 and a first Open Championship.
Fowler with his long-range eagle putt... misses by a hair's breadth. The American is in for a 67 and -15 overall, shared for second with Garcia...
McIlroy has got a decent lie in the bunker... ALMOST HOLES IT! Now he's smiling...
BBC golf correspondent at Hoylake
"Every single person in the grandstand is standing to applaud this cunning superstar of world golf."
McIlroy hasn't taken the game face off yet, even as the crowd falls into raptures around the 18th green. Cap off, a few cursory doffs, but no smile as yet - he still has digging to do for victory...
Having bunted one off the tee, McIlroy decides to get the guns out from the fairway, thrashing his second into a pot bunker. Fowler safely on in two. putting for eagle and outright second...
Kaiser: That's the Claret Jug on its way to N. Ireland #welldoneroryPaolo Brand: Iron off the tee down 18. Sensible play by Rory. Reminds you of Tiger in his pomp! Will Swarbrick: Sergio is an absolute icon. Needs a major.Toniwater: Colin Montgomerie no longer the best player never to win a major that accolade belongs to Sergio. Super effort! Will he ever win one?
Garcia for eagle on 18, from about 25 feet... leaves it a couple of feet left of the cup but that's a birdie, a round of 66 and -15 for the week. If it wasn't for that pesky kid...
Garcia makes his way to the 18th green, patting his heart and blowing kisses as he comes. Good lad, good lad. McIlroy has still got his negotiating face on, even though most of the negotiating has been done. Johnson for par from off the green, hasn't hit it...
Garcia from the rough on 18 and he's pulled out a bonny shot, chasing it into the guts of the green. You can't really criticise the Spaniard, he's given it a real go. Fowler on tee at 18, rattles one down there with the big stick. McIlroy going with steel, bunts one safely down there...
-17 McIlroy (NI); -14 Garcia (Spa), Fowler (US); -13 Furyk (US); -12 Leishman (Aus), Scott (Aus); -11 D Johnson (US), Schwartzel (SA).
Jean Van de Velde stood on the 18th tee at Carnoustie knowing a double-bogey six would see him become the first Frenchman to win the Open in 92 years.
Three shots later, he stood bare foot in the Barry Burn guarding the 18th green, prompting veteran BBC commentator Peter Alliss to say: "Would somebody please stop him. Give him a large brandy and mop him down."
His collapse prompted a play-off - eventually won by Paul Lawrie - and is one of the most remarkable Open moments in history.
You canwatch video of Van de Velde's 18th hole catastrophe and see other Open moments on our feature.
BBC golf correspondent at Hoylake
"McIlroy's been poker-faced all the way round but there he allowed himself a smile."
McIlroy has got a wee pitch over a bunker at 17 and it's a real beauty, leaving himself a pop-in for par. Fowler with a ballsy saver for par, he stays -14 and level with Garcia.
Garcia needs one good swing to seal that runner-up spot but this isn't it, his tee shot goes left. Johnson misses the fairway by 20 yards, his round got super-charged after the turn but the wheels have dropped off. Edoardo Molinari is in with a 68 for 11 under, he beats his brother by three shots after a see-saw battle all week.
McIlroy with a mid-iron into 17 and it's short and right - but OK. Fowler from the wispy nonsense, low fizzer, comes up short as well...
Garcia putting for a birdie at 17, uphill, has to give it a chance... doesn't do that, bit of a muff, stays -14 and three behind McIlroy... Johnson for par from eight feet, tugs it left to drop back to 11 under.