2022 Tour Championship board, winner: Rory McIlroy comes from behind to win $18M payout, third FedEx Cup – CBS Sports

2022 Tour Championship board, winner: Rory McIlroy comes from behind to win $18M payout, third FedEx Cup - CBS Sports

One could not discuss the future of the PGA Tour this season without Rory McIlroy’s name on their lips. On Sunday at the 2022 Tour Championship, McIlroy reminded that he is just as integral in the present. Despite trailing by as many as 10 shots at East Lake Golf Club in the final event of the FedEx Cup Playoffs, McIlroy (-21) rallied on Sunday to usurp world No. 1-ranked golfer Scottie Scheffler to become the first three-time winner in FedEx history -Cup and bank the $18 million first place prize that comes with the trophy.

Unlike some tournaments where he digs himself into a hole he has to fight out of — which he certainly did by kicking off this event with a triple bogey on Thursday — McIlroy was in the conversation from the start at East Lake posting 67s. in consecutive rounds to open a game. However, it was the third round back nine that he finished early Sunday that made him a real contender as Rory birdied three of his last six holes to card a 63 and claim his place alongside Scheffler in the final pairing as he put pressure on the. 54-hole leader despite a six-stroke deficit.

“I’ve been in the final group here three of the last five years,” McIlroy said. “I didn’t give myself much of a chance to get going today. Six behind, I thought it was going to be really hard to make up. But [between] my good game and Scottie’s not-so-great game, it was a ball game going into the back nine.”

McIlroy’s fourth round started with a bogey, but he pulled even with Scheffler after the Texan put three bogeys on his scorecard in the opening six holes. With McIlroy converting five birdies across his first 12 holes, the race was officially over as the two came around the turn. Another bogey on the 14th pushed McIlroy back behind Scheffler, but Rory immediately responded with a stunning 31-foot birdie putt on the 15th that sent the crowd into a frenzy and once again sat him in a tie on the leaderboard.

It was the par-4 16th where McIlroy almost came undone. Sitting in a fairway bunker after his second shot, his third flew over the green at nearly 30 yards. However, Rory’s next chip missed the flagpole, Scheffler missed a 9-foot par putt and McIlroy saved par to take the sole lead and become the first golfer to wrestle the top spot away from Scheffler this week.

Leading by a stroke entering the 18th, McIlroy watched as Scheffler found a bunker only to follow by bouncing his own approach from the fairway into the rough. When Scheffler airmailed the green with his third shot from the bunker, it left McIlroy with the option of playing conservatively to the middle of the green and two-putting for the FedEx Cup crown.

“I feel like Scottie deserves at least half of this today,” McIlroy first said after being introduced as champion. “He had an incredible season. I feel a little bad … but he’s a helluva competitor. He’s an even better guy. It was an honor and a privilege to fight him today.”

Scheffler, a four-time PGA Tour winner this season and the world’s top-ranked golfer for most of the year, tied for second with Sungjae Im; each took home $5.75 million, splitting the second- and third-place prizes.

McIlroy later referred to the “battle of Georgia” between the game’s two titans when Scheffler got the better of McIlroy at the 2022 Masters at Augusta National in April. While the bounces went the 26-year-old’s way at the first major championship of the year (and for much of the year), on Sunday, the golfing gods willed the man from Northern Ireland to victory, making up for a season that featured four pints -10 finishes in the major championships including a heartbreaker (in The Open Championship at St. Andrews) and left a sour taste in McIlroy’s mouth.

“It means an awful lot [to win the Tour Championship],” said McIlroy. “I believe in the game of golf. I believe in this tour in particular. I believe in the players on this tour. It’s the greatest place in the world to play golf, bar none, and I’ve played all over the world.

“This is an incredibly proud moment for me, but it should also be an incredibly proud moment for the PGA Tour. They’ve had some tough times this year, but we’re getting through it. That was a show out there today – – two of the best players in the world are going head-to-head for the biggest prize on the PGA Tour — and I hope everyone at home enjoyed that.”

Having become the face of the PGA Tour, leading the charge against the upstart LIV Golf Series and still being able to perform at the highest level on the biggest stage, the taste of victory was that much sweeter for McIlroy in Atlanta.

In a week that began with McIlroy and Tiger Woods leading the golf course’s efforts to secure the future of the game, it was McIlroy’s performance inside the ropes that proved once again what the PGA Tour cannot recreate.

Here’s the breakdown of the rest of the leaderboard at the 2022 Tour Championship at East Lake Golf Club.

T2. Scottie Scheffler, Sungjae Im (-20): The stars were aligned for Scheffler to claim history at East Lake. Starting the week with a two-stroke lead, building it to seven and starting the final round with a six-stroke edge, Scheffler simply let the FedEx Cup slip through his fingers. After playing his final six holes in 4 under to end his third round on Sunday morning, it felt inevitable this week would continue in the same fashion as his spring when he captured his four wins.

With a win, Scheffler would have secured the richest season in the history of the PGA Tour and only the fifth five-win season of the last decade, joining Tiger Woods, Jason Day, Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas. He would also have put a stamp on what was an explosive campaign. While the $12.25 million difference between the first-place prize and Scheffler’s T2 total may sting, Scheffler will take solace in an astonishingly great season. He will likely be named your PGA Tour Player of the Year and remains world No. 1, but alas, sometimes even the best fall short when the lights are at their brightest.

The adopted son of Atlanta, Im happened to be minding his own business and tried his damnedest to recover from a major mistake on his back nine on Sunday. He got within one stroke of the lead on multiple occasions, but it was a double bogey on the par-4 14th that finally took his name out of FedEx Cup contention. With only one win to his credit on the season, Im’s consistency finally paid dividends in the form of a joint second place check. He entered the postseason with back-to-back runner-up finishes and rode that momentum into three straight top-15 finishes. It’s easy to forget that I’m only 24, and who’s to say that a Scheffler-type season isn’t on the horizon for him as he now hopes to lead the international team to a massive upset in the Presidents Cup in September.

4. Xander Schauffele (-18): The East Lake veteran was one of three players to touch the lead during the Tour Championship, but Schauffele trailed right back after he did. Without Saturday’s rain delay, we might be discussing a different story, but in the end, the weekend was his eventual undoing. One of only four players not to break par in the third round, Schauffele was unable to keep up with his playing competitor, Scheffler, and then the rest of the field.

T5. Max Homa, Justin Thomas (-17): Homa, the man who claimed the first tournament of the 2021-22 campaign, booked his season in impressive fashion. Playing his final 56 holes in 18 under, Homa was able to climb from the depths of the leaderboard and into a seven-figure salary. The confident king should only continue this trajectory into next year as he adds two wins, a top-five finish at the Tour Championship and (more than likely) an appearance for the United States in the Presidents Cup at Quail Hollow – – the site of his first A PGA Tour win — to his resume.

T7. Patrick Cantlay, Sepp Straka (-16): This week had all the makings of back-to-back FedEx Cup titles for Cantlay, as the reigning PGA Tour Player of the Year was just an adequate put performance away from claiming the year’s top prize. Starting the week in second position at 8 under, the Californian was a mainstay on the front page of the leaderboard despite some struggles on the greens. Cantlay was among the leaders in both ball-striking metrics yet uncharacteristically ranked outside the top 25 in strokes gained putting out just 29 players. He was statistically better than last season, but despite that achievement, the 30-year-old’s hardware from the Zurich Classic and the BMW Championship feels a little off.

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