McIlroy wins Tour Championship, FedEx Cup titles
Rory McIlroy arrives in Switzerland later this morning (Monday) on top of the golfing globe after an emphatic near $17m victory windfall Tour Championship victory in Atlanta.
Twelve months after playing second fiddle to Tiger Woods, McIlroy has captured his second season-ending PGA Tour success in three years.
McIlroy brushed past new arch rival Brooks Koepka with a final round 68 to win by four shots with an 18-under par tally on the famed East Lake course just to the east of the Georgia capital.
The 30-year-old joined Tiger Woods as the only players to win the FedExCup twice since its inception in 2007.
In securing a third PGA Tour success of the season, he matched his three Tour titles in 2014 and is just one victory shy of his career-best of four Tour titles in 2012.
And finally, after far too many ‘Sunday Horror Shows’ this season, McIlroy was at his dominant best in capturing a 17th PGA Tour crown and the 26th win of his pro career.
“This is awesome to win the Tour Championship and it’s amazing to end what has been a great season in this manner,” he said.
Rory McIlroy (Credit: PGA Tour)
“My goal today was to go and win, not the normal tournament but win by even strokes. So, it was like everyone started on even this week and not added strokes, and my goal was to shoot the lowest score of the week and with that birdie on the last I did not, and that is why I was concentrating so hard on it.”
“It looked like it was a three-horse race between Xander, Brooks and I but in the middle of the back nine it was just Xander and I, and I was able to seperate myself but then it was tough coming in as I made those two bogeys on 14 and 15 but I made a huge par save on 16, and then I was able to birdie the last two.”
“It was such a cool way to end what has been for me a great season. I will look back on this season and there has been a lot of good things I have I have done and try to improve for next season.”
Unlike much of the 2019 season, McIlroy stepped forward to put real pressure on his fellow four-time Major winner Koepka, who buckled to finish an after-thought.
A Koepka double-bogey at the seventh sandwiched between birdies on six and eight was the first sign of a chink in the American’s armour before the real damage was done with Koepka bogeying three holes in succession from the 12th to 14th to hand McIlroy a then four-shot lead.
McIlroy’s victory not only earned him a cool $1.7m first prize cheque for the Tour Championship win but he will pocket an additional $15 million windfall in landing the FedExCup trophy, an increase of $5 million on a year ago.
A violent electrical storm had halted play early afternoon on Saturday with McIlroy having sent his second shot to 44-feet at the par-5 sixth hole.
Players were whisked from the course as spectators scurried to take cover with many patrons taking to Twitter complaining to the PGA Tour about the lack of shelter.
This was highlighted when a lightning bolt struck a tree and injured six close-by spectators who required medical attention but fortunately none of the injuries were life-threatening.
McIlroy and his fellow 29 competitors, returned early Sunday morning (local time) with the Northern Irishman leaving the eagle putt some six-feet shy of the cup but finding the hole for a birdie.
He went on to post a 68 for a 10-under par three-round total but 15-under par in the ‘strokes added’ controversial format for the PGA Tour’s season-closing event.
For the third occasion in the past four Tour events, McIlroy found himself with Koepka as a final day playing partner.
A month ago, Koepka brushed McIlroy aside in capturing the WGC – FedEx St. Jude Invitational in Memphis before McIlroy got revenge a fortnight later in posting a first round 65 to Koepka’s 71 at the Northern Trust.
Now McIlroy has snuffed-out Koepka’s threat to his second Tour Championship crown in dominating manner and smacking the backside of the current World No. 1 in bruising style.
Koepka will remain officially the game’s best but the win elevates McIlroy to World No. 2 for the first time since May 2016. In fact, McIlroy was ranked World No.2 when he last captured the Tour Championship in 2016.
After the presentation ceremony in Atlanta, McIlroy along with his wife, caddy and manger were heading for nearby Hartsford-Jackson International Airport for their flight to Switzerland where McIlroy will tee-up in Thursday’s Omega European Masters.
McIlroy will then contest the BMW PGA Championship in the third week of September and will team a week later with his father, Gerry in the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.
Adam Scott flew the flag for the Australians this week with an outright 6th place finish leaving him 12 shots behind McIlroy.
Marc Leishman struggled with his game the entire week but managed a final round 67 to move into a share for 24th place at 2-over alongside Patrick Cantlay.
FedEx Cup Final Prizemoney
1 Rory McIlroy (US$15,000,000)
2 Xander Schauffele ($5,000,000)
T3 Justin Thomas ($3,500,000)
T3 Brooks Koepka ($3,500,000)
5 Paul Casey ($2,500,000)
6 Adam Scott ($1,900,000)
7 Tony Finau ($1,300,000)
8 Chez Reavie ($1,100,000)
T9 Patrick Reed ($843,333.33)
T9 Hideki Matsuyama ($843,333.33)
T9 Kevin Kisner ($843,333.33)
T12 Bryson DeChambeau ($682,500)
T12 Jon Rahm ($682,500)
14 Jason Kokrak ($620,000)
15 Gary Woodland ($595,000)
T16 Tommy Fleetwood ($551,666.67)
T16 Webb Simpson ($551,666.67)
T16 Matt Kuchar ($551,666.67)
T19 Singjae Im ($512,500)
T19 Rickie Fowler ($512,500)
T21 Louis Oosthuizen ($478,000)
T21 Abraham Ancer ($478,000)
T21 Patrick Cantlay ($478,000)
T24 Marc Leishman ($450,500)
T24 Brandt Snedeker ($450,500)
T26 Justin Rose ($430,000)
T26 Corey Conners ($430,000)
28 Charles Howell III ($415,000)
T29 Dustin Johnson ($400,000)
T29 Lucas Glover ($400,000)