ATLANTA — With his scorecard in a mess Thursday after just two holes in the Tour Championship, Rory McIlroy didn’t find himself thinking about golf’s comeback Magic or his big Slam champion.
Instead, he considered Joohyung Kim, also known as Tom Kim, 20, who won the Wyndham Championship this month in Greensboro, North Carolina.
“He started with fours and ended up winning the golf tournament,” McIlroy said before opening the Tour Championship with a triple-bogey and bogey. “possible.”
So McIlroy proved it himself. Three days later, he was crushed at East Lake Golf Club, and six weeks later at the British Open , McIlroy Masterplanned the biggest final-round comeback in Tour Championship history and beat Scottie Scheffler by one stroke on Sunday. While McIlroy’s win didn’t end his eight-year drought in major events, he made $18 million to win his third FedExCup, a record, and put the PGA Tour to wrap up a turbulent season by crowning a beloved hardcore champion.
“I’ve felt so close all year,” McIlroy said after the Atlanta win, and Scheffler started Thursday with a The championship lead was ahead and held until Sunday night. “I’ve won a few games, but I’m just waiting for something. Maybe that’s it. I was a little bit lucky Scottie didn’t play his best golf today, and I took advantage of that with my strike.”
But, McIlroy added, “I met the best player in the world today and I knocked him out, that must mean something.”
Although McIlroy started the fourth round six shots behind Scheffler, the final two holes of his third round — which took place on Sunday morning due to Saturday’s Atlanta weather — Shows he’s in combat mode: He birdied both.
McIlroy made a bogey at the start of the final round, but he made a birdie on No. 3 to level his score. Starting on the fifth hole, he made three straight birdies for a 32 on the front nine. McIlroy’s last pair of partners, Scheffler, made three bogeys in the first half of the fourth round for a 3-over 73.
While McIlroy often seemed steady on Sunday and Schaeffler wobbled at times, Mike Roy was the only leader on the leaderboard until the final putt on the 16th hole.
He might as well be on the 15th though.
At 31 feet from the pin, McIlroy tapped the ball, then stood like a statue, his putt barely in the air, and the ball went left. Then it swung toward the hole, and McIlroy took a few steps back—and willingly, prayed something—before it rolled into the cup. McIlroy raised his right fist and cheered, and the audience was thunderous.
Scheffler gave up his personal lead with a bogey on the next hole.
“I really worked hard today; Rory just played a really good game of golf,” Scheffler said. “He made some key putts at the end, and he definitely deserved the victory.”
Scheffler tied for second with Lim Sungjae. Xander Schauffele was two shots behind them, and Max Homa and Justin Thomas were tied for fifth, four behind McIlroy.
At the age of 33, McIlroy, the PGA Tour winner of the FedEx Cup, has been its most loyal fan throughout the year of LIV Golf’s upheaval For one, the new series has drawn hundreds of millions of top players from Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund.
Dramatic end LIV hardly missed in Atlanta – McIlroy paired up with British Open champion Cameron Smith on Thursday and Friday, who did not publicly deny UK news Media reports that he intends to defect as early as this week. But McIlroy’s victory was a boon for the recently besieged entrenched order.
Even those who have been to LIV have had to deal with a lot,” McIlroy added after a moment: “It’s the best place in the world to play golf. This is the most competitive. It has the best players. It has the deepest realm. I don’t know why you want to play anywhere else. ”
Of course he could have Forgive his thoughts in the Atlanta rain on Thursday. But on Sunday, he said his thoughts “automatically” drifted to King’s resurrection in Greensboro.
“I could have easily thought of another way and thought: ‘I don’t have a chance now. what am i doing here? ‘” said McIlroy Sunday, who shot a 66. “But I think, I just proved that I’m in a really good mentality this week, I didn’t make it too much for me, just got my head down and got to work. “
A lone blow is enough.