Weekend winners - Bingo! Rory wins Tour Championship & $10m bonus
PGA Tour: Tour Championship – Rory McIlroy
The 16th hole at East Lake proved to be a very lucrative hole for Rory McIlroy as he birdied it to finally get the better of Ryan Moore at the fourth time of asking.
Earlier in the day he knocked in his second shot to move within touching distance of the leaders Kevin Chappell and Ryan Moore and then he made a three to record a second win in three starts and pocket the ludicrous $10m bonus.
The scenario in the play-off was if McIlroy won he trousered the lot, if Chappell or Moore did then Dustin Johnson would collect the $10m bonus.
At the first extra hole McIlroy hit an enormous drive, around the 350-yard mark, and an iron to six feet but, having watched Moore hole a 15-footer, he then saw his putt horseshoe out. Chappell could only par and so exited stage left.
At the next McIlroy was again in control (at the 18th) after a bold recovery shot but the putt stayed out, Moore holing a four-footer for his par.
And then it was on to the 201-yard 15th, over water and with the light fading. Moore came up short in the rough, McIlroy long but on the green – the American chipped up dead, the Northern Irishman holing from six feet to keep it all going.
On to 16 and the scene of McIlroy’s earlier hole out. Moore knocked in a 20-footer for par and, finally, McIlroy followed him in but for a birdie three and all the riches.
Hear him roar!
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) September 25, 2016
McIlroy made just one mistake in ‘normal time’ with a bogey at the 2nd and he turned it on over the back nine, as he had done all week, coming home in 30. The highlight was undoubtedly the wedge at the 16th to vault him right into contention and an up-and-down from sand at the last got him to 12 under.
Over the four days he played holes 1-10 in -15 and the front side in three over. If anyone will have enjoyed the switch in nines at East Lake it will be McIlroy.
Rory McIlroy! One back with two holes to go.
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) September 25, 2016
Moore had a chance to win it with back-to-back birdies at the last two holes but his putt at 18 somehow lipped out.
Chappell looked the likely winner in the closing stages with birdies at 10, 13 and 16 but he then dropped a shot at 17 and never threatened at the par-5 last.
The anticipated Johnson procession as he stuttered to a three-over effort. All seemed fine and then it began to unravel with a wonky approach to the 5th and a double bogey at the 12th saw the end of his chances.
What McIlroy said: “I’ve made it no secret that it’s one of the last things I feel like I had left on my golfing CV, and I made it a big goal of mine especially after the summer had gone, to win it. So to be here and to win the FedExCup, especially where I came in in the mid-30s somewhere, to play the way I have in the last few weeks to get it done is very special.
“I said to myself on the 15th tee, if I can finish with threes, I’ll give myself a chance. I didn’t quite think the eagle was going to come as soon as it did (a two at the 16th). But when something like that happens, you have to make the most of it. The holed shots from the fairway, it’s part skill, but there’s an epic part of luck in there as well, and I took advantage of it and made birdie at the last.”
European Tour: European Open – Alexander Levy
In a tournament reduced to 54 holes it took another two goes at the 18th before Levy saw off Ross Fisher for the title.
The 26-year-old, now the youngest Frenchman to win three times on the Tour, holed from around 25 feet for a birdie after the first extra hole was halved in par fours.
Levy enjoyed an extraordinary week with opening rounds, in between the rain, of 62 and 63 without any bogeys to lead by four. But three bogeys in his first five holes, offset by two birdies, saw Fisher close the gap. The Englishman was round in 64 and had a putt at the last for victory which only just stayed above ground.
At the same hole Levy’s approach flew the green and he had to hole a nasty eight-footer to make the extra holes.
For Fisher it was his fifth loss in a play-off. Swedes Michael Jonzon and Robert Karlsson finished joint third, one ahead of Austrian Bernd Wiesberger. Martin Kaymer heads to Hazeltine with a sixth-place finish.
— The European Tour (@EuropeanTour) September 25, 2016
What Levy said: “I saw the line of the putt and I told my caddie that I thought I was going to make it. It’s difficult to compare this victory with others, but I definitely feel very relieved because it looked like I had lost my chance.
“I holed a nice putt for bogey to make the play-off. It was a tough moment, I didn’t hit a good second shot but I think it was my only bad shot on the last nine holes, so I just kept my mind focused on making the bogey to get into the play-off.
“I didn’t play well on the front nine. I was thinking about the score and not on my own game. But I stayed patient and I started to play really well on the back nine, and in the end it worked out well.”