McIl­roy makes sur­prise run to win, FedEx Cup

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - SPORTS -

Rory McIl­roy was three shots be­hind with three holes to play Sun­day in the Tour Cham­pi­onship. Nearly two hours later, he won at East Lake in a play­off and claimed the $10 mil­lion FedEx Cup bonus.

AT­LANTA » Rory McIl­roy holed two shots on the 16th hole at East Lake that made him a most un­likely FedEx Cup cham­pion on Sun­day.

The first one he didn’t even see go in.

Three shots be­hind with three holes to play at the Tour Cham­pi­onship, McIl­roy holed a pitch­ing wedge from 137 yards for ea­gle that gave him the spark he needed to close with a 6-un­der 64 and join a three­way play­off with the FedEx Cup ti­tle riding on the out­come.

“I knew I was right back in the golf tour­na­ment,” he said.

Four play­off holes later on the 16th, af­ter Ryan Moore made a par putt from just out­side 15 feet, McIl­roy knocked in his 15-foot birdie putt to win two tro­phies that he des­per­ately wanted — the Tour Cham­pi­onship and the FedEx Cup.

“Just to see that ball drop, and ev­ery­thing that’s come to­gether for me this year ... to pull it off was re­ally spe­cial,” McIl­roy said, his voice still hoarse from scream­ing over so many qual­ity shots, so many clutch mo­ments over the fi­nal two hours at East Lake.

McIl­roy picked up $11.53 mil­lion in one day — the $10 mil­lion FedEx Cup bonus and $1.53 mil­lion for the Tour Cham­pi­onship, his sec­ond vic­tory in three weeks that made him the first player to win four FedEx Cup play­off events.

His only hope was to win the Tour Cham­pi­onship and have Dustin John­son fin­ish worse than sec­ond alone. John­son closed with a 73 and tied for sixth.

In its 10th year, the FedEx Cup never had a fin­ish like this.

Moore, who might have done enough to earn that last cap­tain’s pick for the Ry­der Cup, missed an 8-foot birdie putt by the slimmest of mar­gins on the par-5 18th hole in reg­u­la­tion for a 64. In the play­off, he holed a 10-foot birdie putt with McIl­roy fac­ing a 6-foot ea­gle putt for the vic­tory. McIl­roy missed.

Even on the fi­nal hole, Moore gave McIl­roy ev­ery­thing he had. His chip over a ridge raced well past the hole, and it looked as though McIl­roy would only have to two-putt for the vic­tory. In­stead, Moore holed an­other big putt.

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