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Posted August 28, 2022 in "Watts" In The Bag by Tom Brassell
By The Associated Press
ATLANTA — Rory McIlroy rallied from six shots behind world No. 1 Scottie Scheffler to win the TOUR Championship and capture the FedExCup for the third time.
McIlroy won $18 million prize to go along with the trophy. He closed with a 4-under 66 to overtake four-time winner this season Scottie Scheffler, who made only one birdie in a 73.
Sungjae Im fell back with a double bogey on the 14th hole and still managed a 66 to tie for second with Scheffler.
McIlroy referred to the final round of a “spectacle,” and not just because of the pro-McIlroy crowd that chanted his name along the closing holes.
“Two of the best players in the world going head on the best tour,” he said.
McIlroy needed plenty of help from Scheffler, the top player in the FedExCup earning a two-shot lead with “Starting Strokes” and never trailed until the 70th hole. Scheffler, who birdied four of six holes Sunday morning to finish the third round and build a six-shot lead, lost it in the first seven holes.
And then it was a nail-biter to the very end, a stunning afternoon at East Lake that turned on two shots.
McIlroy holed a 31-foot birdie putt on the par-3 15th hole to tie for the lead. After he flew the green by some 20 yards, his pitch was running fast and headed off the front of the green when it hit the pin and settled 7 feet away.
He saved par. Scheffler blasted out of a bunker to just inside 10 feet and missed, making bogey that put him behind for the first time all week. Scheffler badly misread a 10-foot birdie chance on the 17th to tie, sending the TOUR Championship to the final hole with $18 million on the line.
Scheffler’s 4-iron on the par-5 18th sailed short and right and into a bunker, and he blasted out over the green. McIlroy went left against the grandstand, took relief and got onto the green for an easy par.
Scheffler and Im each won $4.75 million.
“The money definitely didn’t creep into my mind. I wanted to win the season-long title,” Scheffler said. “I’ve had a really great year and I wanted to finish it off with a win here, and unfortunately I wasn’t able to do that.”
McIlroy won in 2016 in a playoff. He won the FedExCup again in 2019, the first year using the “Starting Strokes” format.
Rory McIlroy passed Tiger Woods for most FedExCup titles to cap a week when the pair announced the formation of TMRW Sports and TGL in partnership with the PGA Tour.
“I believe in the game of golf. I believe in this tour, in particular. I believe in the players on this tour,” McIlroy said in the trophy presentation. “It’s the greatest place in the world to play golf, bar none, and I’ve played all over.”
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