McIlroy storms from 6 back to win FedEx Cup and $18 million

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ATLANTA (AP) – Rory McIlroy, the strongest voice for the PGA Tour in a tumultuous year, had the last word with his clubs on Sunday as he rallied six shots behind to win the Tour Championship and the FedEx Cup for the third time. to conquer.

McIlroy won $18 million, bringing his PGA Tour earnings for the season to over $26 million. He finished with a 4-under 66 to overtake Masters champion Scottie Scheffler, who made just one birdie in a 73.

Scheffler hoped to end the best golf year with the FedEx Cup title. Instead, his entry in the record book tied a PGA Tour record for losing the biggest 54-hole lead. The last to do so was Dustin Johnson in 2017 at the HSBC Champions.

Sungjae Im fell back with a double bogey on the 14th hole and still managed a 66 to take second with Scheffler.

McIlroy called the final round a “spectacle,” and not just because of the pro-McIlroy crowd chanting his name along the closing holes.

“Two of the best players in the world are heading for the best tour,” he said.

McIlroy needed a lot of help from Scheffler, the No. 1 seed, who started with a two-shot lead and never lagged until the 70th hole. Scheffler, who birdied four of the six holes on Sunday morning to close the third round and build a six-shot lead, lost it in the first seven holes.

And then it was a nail-biter to the end, a beautiful afternoon in East Lake that yielded two shots.

McIlroy hit a 30-foot birdie putt on the par-3 15th hole to take the lead. After flying some 20 yards over the green on the 16th, his throw ran fast and headed off the front of the green when it hit the pin and landed 7 feet away.

He saved par. Scheffler shot out of a bunker to just within 10 feet and missed, making a bogey that put him behind for the first time all week. Scheffler misjudged a 10-foot birdie chance on the 17th to tie, sending the Tour Championship to the final hole with $18 million at stake.

Scheffler’s 4-iron on the par-5 18th sailed short and right and into a bunker, and he shot across the green. McIlroy went left against the stands, took the help and came on the green for an easy par.

Scheffler and Im each won $4.75 million.

“The money definitely never crossed my mind. I wanted to win the season title,” Scheffler said. “I’ve had a really great year and I wanted to end it here with a win, but unfortunately it didn’t work out.”

McIlroy won the 2016 FedEx Cup in a playoff. In 2019 he again won the FedEx Cup, the first year of a staggered start. But this was arguably the best of the fall, a year in which the PGA Tour has found itself in a nasty battle with Saudi-funded LIV Golf, which has already attracted some two dozen players and is now part of an antitrust lawsuit. against the PGA tour.

It was McIlroy who has expressed fierce loyalty to the PGA Tour in recent years as rival leagues came into the picture. And it was McIlroy who led a memorable player-only meeting with Tiger Woods last week, which led to significant changes for the tour.

So yes, this gave an extra level of satisfaction.

“I believe in the game of golf. I especially believe in this tour. I believe in the players on this tour,” McIlroy said at the award ceremony. “It’s the best place in the world to play golf, except for, and I’ve played everywhere.”

Even at the Tour Championship, quintessentially a year-end celebration, there was talk throughout the weekend of more defectors coming over the next few days. The Daily Telegraph reported three weeks ago that British Open champion Cameron Smith would be leaving for LIV Golf, and renewed reports over the weekend confirmed that.

Two people aware of the moves said Harold Varner III, Marc Leishman and Anirban Lahiri are leaving. They spoke on condition of anonymity as it has not been announced. Cameron Tringale announced his decision on Twitter.

Still to be determined is Joaquin Niemann, whose manager said the Chilean would discuss options with his father later on Sunday.

“Everyone on tour has been through a lot. Even the guys who went to LIV have been through a lot. It’s just been a really tumultuous era in our game,” McIlroy said. “This is the best place in the world to play golf. It is the most competitive. It has the best players. It has the deepest fields. I don’t know why you would want to play anywhere else.”

With all that speculation, the Tour Championship turned what looked like a runaway into a dynamic show. Most of that fell on Scheffler, who looked like different players when he returned on Sunday morning and after a two-hour break for the final round.

He got nothing going and left four others in the game. Scheffler hit only nine of the 18 greens in regulation.

McIlroy seized the opportunity early on with three consecutive birdies, the last from 30 feet at No. 7, sparking cheers from corporate catering establishments on the other side of the lane.

Scheffler fought back and showed amazing grit without the match to go with it. He had three big par saves on the back nine early on and took the lead for the last time when McIlroy missed the 14th green with a short iron from the fairway and bogeyed.

McIlroy started the tournament six shots behind as the number 7 seed. He opened with a tee shot out-of-bounds for a triple bogey and after another bogey he was 10 down before Scheffler even started. And at the end, the biggest voice of the tour had its biggest trophy.

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The Valley Voice
The Valley Voicehttp://thevalleyvoice.org
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.

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