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Starting triple bogey-bogey, Rory McIlroy more-or-less started 10 shots back of the leaders after just two holes on Thursday. Four days later, the four-time Major winner was a three-time FedEx Cup champion, pocketing $18 million in the process.
It was an enthralling final day at East Lake, especially with McIlroy battling it out with the World No.1, Scottie Scheffler, who will take solace in the fact that he has secured four PGA Tour trophies, including a Major title and his spot at the top of the world rankings this season.
"I feel like Scottie deserves half of this," stated McIlroy following his win. "He has had an unbelievable season and I feel sort of bad that I pipped him to the post. He's a hell of a competitor and an even better guy and it's been a privilege to battle him today.
"I've been in the final group here three of the last five years and I thought that six behind was going to be tough to make up. This win means an awful lot. I believe in the game of golf, I believe in this Tour, I believe in the players on this Tour and it's the greatest place to play golf and I've played all over the world. This is an incredibly proud moment for me, but also for the PGA Tour who have had some hard times this year, but that was a spectacle today. Two of the best players in the world going head-to-head and I hope all enjoyed that."
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The third round of the Tour Championship had been delayed due to weather on Saturday and, as players returned on Sunday to complete their rounds, Scheffler was in the driving seat, especially with four birdies in his final six holes to sit five shots clear of the field going into the final round.
However, with a sizeable paycheck on the line, the American was clearly nervous as, in just six holes, his six shot lead was wiped out by a rampaging McIlroy. However, the World No.1 fought back, with a birdie at the eighth giving him a one shot lead going into the back nine.
What transpired though was a battle for the ages, as both Scheffler and McIlroy duelled over the final nine holes. Following a run of pars, Scheffler was still leading, but McIlroy was up for the challenge, as he birdied the 12th to pull level.
Whilst the two battled it out, Sungjae Im set the target as he finished at 20-under-par. However, McIlroy made a stunning birdie at the 15th, before a ridiculous up-and-down at the 16th followed.
Parring the 17th, both Scheffler and McIlroy striped drives down the 18th. Their second shots to the par-5 lacked conviction though, as the duo were in a situation where they would be lucky to make birdie.
That proved to be the case, as the World No.1 fired his third over the green, whilst McIlroy took a free drop from the grandstands. Chipping up, the four-time Major winner had two putts for the title and, after rolling a putt up to a matter of inches, the title was McIlroy's. In the process, he became the first player to secure a third FedEx Cup title and the top prize of $18 million.
Matt studied Sports Journalism at Southampton Solent University, graduating in 2019. Now a freelance writer for Golf Monthly and the PGA, he covers all aspects of the game, from Tour news to equipment testing and buyers’ guides. Taking up the game at the age of six, Matt currently holds a handicap of 3 and despite not having a hole in one…yet, he has had two albatrosses. His favourite player is Rory McIlroy, despite nearly being struck by his second shot at the 17th during the 2015 BMW PGA Championship.
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