Rory McIlroy claims his 20th PGA win and £1.3m prize with a huge win in the CJ Cup… as he overtakes Rickie Fowler and holds off Collin Morikawa on the final day in Las Vegas
- Rory McIlroy won the CJ Cup in Las Vegas after a brilliant four days of play
- The Northern Irishman wins £1.3 million and now has 20 PGA titles to his name
- On the final day, he caught up with Rickie Fowler and kept in-form Collin Morikawa. in return for
- He finished 25-under, and the result will help his ranking after dropping to 14th
Leaving his Ryder Cup pain behind, Rory McIlroy joined a select group of players with 20 PGA victories with a one-stroke win at the CJ Cup in Las Vegas on Sunday.
Two shots from the day behind leader Rickie Fowler, the former world No. 1 – whose ranking has plummeted to 14th amid a tumultuous 2021 – mapped an excellent six-under-66 to finish at 25-under-par for his second win of the year. 2021.
McIlroy hit four birdies around his first bogey since Thursday on the first nine, taking another strike on the 12th before taking the win by sinking a monstrous putt 34 feet off the green for an eagle three on the 14th.
Rory McIlroy beams after taking the CJ Cup win in Las Vegas on Sunday night
The Brit has had a tough 2021, but now has two top-level victories to his name
McIlroy now joins select club to take 20 PGA wins after his success at The Summit Club
A controlled approach shot on the latter meant he could make two putts from 3 yards before a closing par to secure victory for American Collin Morikawa, who seared up the standings to put pressure on the careerist Northern Irishman -best 10-under 62 .
Fowler (71) and compatriot Keith Mitchell (67) were two more shots back in an equal third.
“Getting 20 wins here is a big achievement,” McIlroy, the 39th player to achieve this feat, said in his interview with Greenside. “I didn’t know if it would be this week, but I knew if I just kept my head down and kept playing well and doing the right things, I’d get there eventually.
“To win, it’s great, it feels really good.”
McIlroy, who made his best score since 2019 with his third round 62, later told reporters: “I played really well this week, culminating in the 10-under yesterday, but to follow that up with a really solid round today.. … I just played really solid golf, kept giving myself birdie looks and made it happy enough to get the job done.”
Collin Morikawa (pictured) had a brilliant final day, but McIlroy managed to hold it off
Rickie Fowler was the leader of the night heading into the final day, but he fluffed his rules
Playing for the first time since his disappointing performance in Europe’s recent Ryder Cup defeat in Wisconsin last month – a rough week that made the 32-year-old famous in tears in his closing interview – McIlroy said the experience had helped him change.
“It was huge. It was real. I was really disappointed with how I played,” he said in his greenside interview with PGA Tour.
‘A lot has been thought about in recent weeks. This is what I have to do. I have to play golf, I have to simplify it. I just have to be myself. I think for the past few months maybe I was trying to be someone else to get better.
‘I realized that being myself is enough, and that I can be myself, can do these kinds of things.’
McIlroy scored just one point in Whistling Straits – his lowest score of any of his six Ryder Cup appearances – amid the second defeat he suffered for Team Europe.
He was even dropped from the lineup for the foursome on Saturday morning, before being recalled in the afternoon to lose heavily with Ian Poulter, four and three, to Dustin Johnson and Morikawa. McIlroy earned his lone point with his consoling victory over Xander Schauffele on Sunday, when the US had already almost secured the win.
McIlroy and his caddy Harry Diamond cross the water on the 13th hole in Las Vegas, Nevada
It was a scenic setting for the Northern Irishman to secure the win and the £1.3million top prize
After his win in the CJ Cup, McIlroy revealed that he had almost decided to miss the tournament – and not play again this year – amid his Ryder Cup desperation.
“On the Saturday night of the Ryder Cup… I was done playing golf. I didn’t want to play golf again until 2022,” he told reporters.
“Sunday night at the Ryder Cup I thought, ‘Go to Vegas, go to CJ and try to build on this little breakthrough I’ve had.’
England’s Ian Poulter and Tyrrell Hatton started the day four and five shots from the lead but fell to finish in 18th place, Poulter carding a two-under 70 and Hatton a one-under 71.
Fellow Englishman Paul Casey fired a four-under 68 to finish 25th.