Tour Championship: Rory McIlroy overturns six-shot deficit at FedEx Cup to make history

Having arrived at Atlanta’s East Lake Golf Club six photographs behind prime seed Scottie Scheffler, the Northern Irishman trailed by the identical margin heading into the deciding day. Yet as World No. 1 Scheffler suffered a joint-round worst three-over 73, McIlroy carded a 66 to edge the American and South Korean Im Sung-jae by a single stroke at 21-under.

It marked the biggest final-round comeback in Tour Championship history, besting Colombian Camilo Villegas’ five-shot restoration in 2008. Only Justin Thomas and Sam Burns overturned bigger deficits on the Tour all season, successful from seven photographs again at the PGA Championship and the Charles Schwab Challenge respectively.

After FedEx Cup victories in 2016 and 2019, triumph at East Lake sees McIlroy edge away from Tiger Woods — winner of the inaugural occasion in 2007 — as the one participant to have secured the title thrice.

“It’s really cool to do something in golf that no one has ever done before,” McIlroy informed reporters.

“Obviously, the history of the FedEx Cup isn’t as long as the history of some other tournaments, but to be walking out of here three times a champion, it’s very, very satisfying and something that I’m incredibly proud of.”

McIlroy plays a shot on the 16th hole.

McIlroy was rewarded with $18 million in prize Money for his twenty second PGA Tour victory, making certain a triumphant finish to a stellar season tinged with main disappointment.

With wins at the CJ Cup and the Canadian Open, the 33-year-old persistently impressed with 10 top-10 outcomes throughout 16 occasions. Nowhere was this manner extra evident than at the majors, the place McIlroy completed no worse than eighth throughout the 4 occasions.

Rory McIlroy throws fan's remote-controlled ball into water at BMW Championship
Yet having completed runner-up at the Masters in April and agonizingly letting victory slip by means of his grasp at the a hundred and fiftieth Open Championship in July, McIlroy’s excellent type didn’t reap the fifth main triumph he has been chasing since victory at the PGA Championship in 2014.

With McIlroy evaluating the marketing campaign to 2019, the place he additionally recorded three Tour wins, caddy Harry Diamond believed it was a becoming finish to the season.

“On the 18th green today, [Harry] goes, ‘All the good golf you played this year, you deserve this,'” McIlroy stated.

“I’ve said all along this year, this season felt very, very similar to 2019. I played great golf. I had some good wins but didn’t pick off a major.”

McIlroy tees off at the fourth.

Player of the Year?

For Scheffler, slim defeat marked a painful finish to an exceptional season by which triumph at the Masters headlined 4 wins and 11 top-10 finishes on the Tour.

Opening with a 65 and two 66’s, the American’s triumph had seemed set to be a procession earlier than three bogeys by means of the primary six holes Sunday opened the door for McIlroy, who — regardless of opening with a bogey — responded with a trio of birdies by means of the identical run.

An excellent birdie putt from McIlroy at the fifteenth adopted by a bogey from Scheffler at the following gap proved decisive, because the Northern Irishman tapped dwelling at the final to win with par. After a short celebratory fist pump, McIlroy went straight over to embrace Scheffler.

McIlroy pumps his fist after making birdie at the 15th hole.

“Scottie Scheffler is going to win the Player of the Year, there’s no doubt about that. It would have been fitting for him to end his breakout season with a FedEx Cup title,” McIlroy stated.

“He deserves this maybe more than I deserve it, he played an unbelievable season. He didn’t have his best stuff today, and I played well and took advantage of that.

“It’s laborious. You do not actually know what to say on the 18th inexperienced as a result of he is had such an excellent yr, however he’ll be again and he is an excellent participant, and I informed him this actually is not the final time that we’re going to have these battles on the golf course.”

Scheffler hits out of the bunker on the 18th green.

Despite his disappointment, Scheffler was equally gracious in defeat.

“I actually fought laborious at the moment. Rory simply performed a very good spherical of golf. He made some key putts there at the top, and he undoubtedly deserved to win,” he said.

“I’ve had a very nice yr and I wished to end it off with a win right here, and sadly, I wasn’t in a position to do this. But at the top of the day, it is such a present to be out right here enjoying golf for Money, and I’m simply so grateful to be out right here.”

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