RORY-ING INTO RYDER CUP SHOWDOWN
Victory sees McIlroy heading to Hazeltine in top form
Rory McIlroy will head into the Ryder Cup in buoyant mood after coming through a three-way play-off to win the Tour Championship and clinch the overall FedEx Cup title, securing a payday of $11.5 million in Atlanta.
The Northern Irishman pocketed prize money of $1.5m after edging out Americans Ryan Moore and Kevin Chappell at East Lake, in addition to a $10 million bonus for pipping Dustin Johnson to the FedEx Cup.
“It means an awful lot,” said McIlroy. “I’ve made it no secret that it’s one of the last things I feel like I had left on my golfing CV, and I made it a big goal of mine, especially after the summer had gone, to win it.
“So to be here and to win the FedEx Cup, especially where I came in the mid-30s somewhere, to play the way I have in the last few weeks to get it done is very special.
“My game is coming together in the right time. To win twice in three events feels pretty nice.”
McIlroy had begun the day two shots behind Chappell and Johnson after keeping himself in contention with a flawless third-round 66. He, along with Moore, carded a fourthround 64 before Chappell’s 66 left the trio level on 12 under to force the decider.
The play-off holes were not without their drama, with McIlroy unfazed by missing a six-foot eagle putt at the first extra hole and then seeing Moore sink an excellent par putt at the 16th.
He added: “When you have a six-footer to win the Tour Championship, the FedEx Cup, $11.5 million and you feel like you did a good putt and it doesn’t quite go in... I just had to regroup, stay focused, and try to give myself chances in the play-off, and thankfully I stayed patient enough to get it done.
“It was nice just to roll one in on top of him and get this thing done.”
McIlroy will now turn his attention to the Ryder Cup, which begins this Friday at Hazeltine. There he will once again be doing battle with Moore, whose impressive showing in Atlanta saw him rewarded with a place in America’s Ryder Cup team. And McIlroy was full of praise for the efforts of the 33-year-old from Washington.
“I played with Ryan all day, who played phenomenally well,” added McIlroy. “Big credit is due to him. He’s playing fantastic golf and has done over the past few months so he should be really proud of himself.”