Can you believe it's the first time Rory McIlroy has ever gone back to back on the PGA Tour? And he was at his entertaining best afterwards, too. George Cooper reports

Golf was at its purest, most exhilarating, most edge-of-your seat best on the final day at the Canadian Open as Rory McIlroy fought off several of the world’s finest to defend his title in Toronto.

The Northern Irishman carded a 64 during a low-scoring Sunday to win by two shots over Tony Finau and see off Justin Thomas, who finished third despite going toe-to-toe with his rival for most of the day.

Starting the day as co-leader on 8-under, McIlroy birdied eight of his opening 12 holes at St George’s, before squandering his lead as a soaring Finau and Thomas re-entered the fight – the latter birdieing six holes in a row to get to within one. But in an epic finish, McIlroy closed with two birdies to see off the pair and retain the Canadian Open with a final score of 19-under par.

Amid a chaotic week which saw the controversial LIV Golf Invitational finally get underway at its inaugural event at Centurion, the PGA Tour, DP World Tour and LET ultimately came up trumps, proving to everyone, as if we needed it, exactly the brilliance of each respective circuit.

β€œThe crowds, the calibre of play, everything about today was just first class. Which is exactly what the PGA Tour is,” McIlroy said following the victory.

Indeed, when the PGA Tour needed their star names to deliver, the big guns didn’t disappoint. Justin Rose led the charge before McIlroy’s dramatic finish when he carded a sensational 10-under par. And what could have been, as the Englishman came within inches of joining the illustrious 59 club when he narrowly missed a putt for par on 18.

But it was eventually fitting that McIlroy would battle it out with Thomas during this turbulent week for the PGA Tour, with both stars continuing to voice out against LIV Golf in support for the Tour which has made them household names.

Following his 21st PGA Tour victory, McIlroy couldn’t resist a dig.

β€œIt’s incredible,” he told CBS off the back of 18. β€œMy 21st PGA Tour win, one more than somebody else.”

That β€œsomebody else” is Greg Norman, a 20-time PGA Tour winner in his career.

β€œThat gave me a little extra incentive today,” McIlroy added. β€œI’m happy to get it done.”

Golf will always be OK as long as it has Rory McIlroy.

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George Cooper

A golf fanatic his entire life, George Cooper is NCG's man for all goings-on at the top level of the game, whether it's the PGA Tour, DP World Tour, LPGA or LIV Golf. He also looks after NCG's Twitter and Facebook accounts. George is a member of Woburn, but is not friends with Ian Poulter.

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