RORY-ING INTO RY­DER CUP SHOW­DOWN

Vic­tory sees McIl­roy head­ing to Hazel­tine in top form

7 Days in Dubai - - FRONT PAGE -

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.”

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