Rory McIlroy claimed his first title in 18 months as a final round 68 secured his third victory at the Wells Fargo Championship.
Rory McIlroy Ends Winless Drought With Wells Fargo Victory
In a simply enthralling finish, it was Rory McIlroy who came out on top, claiming his first title since the WGC HSBC Champions.
McIlroy, who hadn’t competed since the Masters, started his day just two shots back of overnight leader Keith Mitchell.
That overnight lead was soon three strokes as Mitchell made a stunning birdie at the first hole from the fairway bunker.
A birdie for McIlroy at the third put him back to within two shots, before bogies at the fifth and sixth for Mitchell put him back into a tie with the Northern Irishman.
With a swing in momentum, McIlroy holed a classy birdie putt at the seventh to move temporarily into the lead. However, the four time Major champion would then start to see a challenge from American Gary Woodland.
Woodland, who had made back-to-back birdies at the seventh and eighth moved into the lead, before bogies at the 12th and 13th dropped him out of contention.
As Woodland faded away, Mitchell birdied the par-3 13th to tie the lead with McIlroy.
Despite the pressure from Mitchell, the four time Major champion would show his class, making birdie from the bunker at both the 14th and 15th to extend his lead to two shots with three holes to play.
With safe pars at the tricky 16th and 17th, McIlroy would have a two-shot advantage heading up the 18th.
But drama would follow, with McIlroy pulling his three wood left off the tee, finishing inches away from the creek.
Being forced into taking a penalty drop, McIlroy would find the green from 195 yards, with the 32-year-old two putting from 40-feet to secure a one shot victory and his 19th PGA Tour victory.
Speaking after his round, the Northern Irishman said: “It’s never easy to win out here. It’s felt like a long time since that win in China in 2019, the world is a completely different place to what it use to be.
“This is one of my favourite places in the world and to break the drought and win here again is just awesome.
“It’s so awesome to play in front of these people again. When we came back from the pandemic I thought that I’d enjoy the piece and quiet a little bit, but I soon realised that to bring the best out of myself I need this and I feed of the energy so much.
“This is the first place that I’ve won three times and the crowd has been awesome all week and they’ve really carried me through today.”