Final Day Charge Secures Rory McIlroy His Best Ever Masters Finish

The four-time Major winner put on a show on Sunday at Augusta National with six birdies and an eagle

Rory McIlroy
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Rory McIlroy chipped in for birdie on 10, eagled the 13th and then holed a bunker shot on the last for birdie in an incredible final day charge up the leaderboard and secure his best ever Masters finish at Augusta National, beating his previous best of fourth in 2015...and it may even be enough to get into a playoff.

Rory posted a bogey-free 64 with six birdies and an eagle and, at the time of writing, is just four behind Scottie Scheffler at 11-under who will win The Masters if he gets in ahead of McIlroy's score.

The Northern Irishman opened with a birdie at the 1st before a two-putt birdie at the 3rd when his drive found the right edge of the green. He could, or should, have been three-under after three but a short birdie putt on the par-5 2nd just slid by the hole.

He picked up another two shots at the 7th and 8th to turn in four-under and he reached five-under-par for the day after a chip-in birdie from long of the 10th green.

Watch McIlroy's chip-in on 10:

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 A clutch par save at the 11th kept his momentum before he rifled an iron from 208 yards at the 13th and rolled in a sweeping left-to-righter for a sensational eagle. That took him to seven-under-par for the day and six-under for the tournament with four holes to play.

Watch McIlroy's eagle on 13:

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He pulled his drives left on both 14 and 15 where he made a terrific up-and-down par save and then a routine three-shot par. He struck his birdie putt too hard on the 16th and then a sublime bunker shot set up a sandy par on the 17th, after once again pulling his tee shot left.

The 32-year-old then produced one of his career-best moments on the 18th when he holed a bunker shot for birdie to send the patrons wild and secure a bogey-free round of 64 to post seven-under-par in the clubhouse.

Watch McIlroy's holed bunker shot on 18:

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It was a spirited comeback from the former World No.1 who found himself at two-over after 36 holes after back-to-back 73s to start the week. He fought back with a 71 (-1) on Saturday before catching fire in the final round.

A runner-up finish would not only his best ever Masters result but also his best Major result since his last win at the 2014 PGA Championship. He was T2nd at Carnoustie in 2018 but has never previously posted a solo second in a Major.

- Masters Leaderboard 2022, Latest Scores, Live Coverage From Augusta National Final Round

Video: Things you didn't know about Rory McIlroy

Elliott Heath is our Senior Staff Writer and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016. He graduated in Sports Journalism in 2016 and currently manages the Golf Monthly news, courses and travel sections as well as our large Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. Elliott has interviewed some huge names in the golf world including Sergio Garcia, Thomas Bjorn, Bernd Wiesberger and Scotty Cameron as well as a number of professionals on the DP World and PGA Tours. He has also covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as three Open Championships including at Carnoustie in 2018 when he was inside the ropes with Tiger Woods. He has played 31 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, Old Head and Alwoodley. He currently plays at West Byfleet Golf Club in Surrey, where his handicap index floats anywhere between 4-6. His golfing highlight is making albatross on the 9th hole on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, and he has made one hole-in-one.

Elliott is currently playing:

Driver: Honma TR20

3 wood: TaylorMade SIM2 Max

2 iron: Mizuno MP-18 MMC Fli-Hi

Irons: Mizuno MP5 4-PW

Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore 50, 54, 58

Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x