RORY MCILROY seemingly swooped from the clouds to snatch the TOUR Championship and subsequently the FedEx Cup US$10million jackpot virtually from Dustin Johnson’s grasp in Atlanta on the weekend.
There certainly appeared to be lots of eagles and birdies and things as McIlroy (64) stormed home with some majestic golf from 6th in the FedEx standings to first.
The Northern Irishman was still three strokes behind the lead with three holes to play in the final round at East Lake but firstly holed out with a wedge for eagle on the par four 16th and then had a great up and down for birdie on the last to qualify for a three man playoff with Kevin Chappell (66) and Ryan Moore (64).
If either of the Americans had won the day, which always seemed likely before the McIlroy surge, Johnson, sitting in the clubhouse after a worse-round-of-the-day 73, would still have taken the cup.
On the first playoff hole McIlroy looked like he was going to end it all in flamboyant style when after an imposing drive on the par five he put a long iron just six foot from the hole. Behind him Chappell and Moore were scrambling to get to the green.
McIlroy couldn’t believe it when his eagle attempt lipped out …. Then Moore sunk a clutch birdie putt to continue the playoff for another three holes.
McIlroy finally ended it with a birdie when they replayed the 16th, Even then the fighting Moore really put the pressure on the world No.3 with a clutch par save.
McIlroy ended what for him has been a less than spectacular season with the US$10 million FedEx jackpot plus $1.5 million for winning the Tour Championship.
Some late season putting coaching seems to have made a big difference to the 27 year old’s game.
“There’s a lot of things that had to go well for me today, along with me playing well,” McIlroy said. “Everything just sort of aligned for me. I took advantage of that opportunity.”
Scott 3-under in final two holes
Adam Scott (65) also had a great finish, closing birdie – eagle to post 4-under for the tournament, eight back from the playoff mark of 12-under.
Scott finished at T8 for the championship, good enough for fourth in the FedEx, netting him an extra US$1.5 million.
Jason Day pulled out with his back issue during the first round but still finished 6th in the FedEx, where he had to settle for a measly US$800,000.
Final FedEx Cup Standings
The final FedEx standings were McIlroy 1, Johnson 2, Patrick Reed 3, Scott 4, Paul Casey 5, Day 6.
The US PGA TOUR will now go into hiatus …. for a about a week. Mostly to allow the playing of the Ryder Cup.
McIlroy wins the Tour Championship: Final Round Highlights VideoTOUR Championship Final Results