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Rory McIlroy Hailed as PGA Tour's 'Certified Leader' After 2022 Tour Championship Win

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVAugust 28, 2022

Tracy Wilcox/PGA TOUR via Getty Images

Rory McIlroy is the FedEx Cup champion for a third time thanks to his victory in the Tour Championship on Sunday at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta.

McIlroy carded a four-under in a drama-filled final round to finish at 21 under. He was one shot better than Sungjae Im and Scottie Scheffler.

PGA TOUR @PGATOUR

The first three-time <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/FedExCup?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#FedExCup</a> Champion! πŸ†πŸ†πŸ†<a href="https://twitter.com/McIlroyRory?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@McIlroyRory</a> has won the <a href="https://twitter.com/playofffinale?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@PlayoffFinale</a>. <a href="https://t.co/Sb5mlPPYL5">pic.twitter.com/Sb5mlPPYL5</a>

Having to play from behind for nearly the entire day, McIlroy took sole possession of first from Scheffler with a par on No. 16.

PGA TOUR @PGATOUR

Big par save for <a href="https://twitter.com/McIlroyRory?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@McIlroyRory</a>. Costly bogey for Scheffler.<br><br>Rory McIlroy now leads by 1 with two to play <a href="https://twitter.com/playofffinale?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@PlayoffFinale</a>. <a href="https://t.co/7DRWXS8nWc">pic.twitter.com/7DRWXS8nWc</a>

That represented an incredible comeback.

Scheffler was six shots up on McIlroy and Xander Schauffele before the fourth round began. Following the resumption of the third round Sunday morning, he birdied four of his final six holes in the third round.

It looked like the 2022 Masters champion would cruise to victory at East Lake Golf Club.

A bogey on No. 1 wasn't much reason for panic, but then came bogeys on the fourth and sixth holes. When Scheffler made the turn at two over for the round, many saw looming trouble with McIlroy surging.

Jeff Eisenband @JeffEisenband

Scottie Scheffler has had one of the most impressive <a href="https://twitter.com/PGATOUR?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@PGATOUR</a> seasons in recent memory. 4 wins, a Masters title, became World No. 1, won over so many fans.<br><br>But this Tour Championship crowd is going to be pulling so hard for Rory McIlroy on the back nine.

Brad Townsend @townbrad

Polar-opposite in the final round for Scheffler. Grinding and holding on for dear life. <a href="https://t.co/Jmr3ekikNT">https://t.co/Jmr3ekikNT</a>

Dimers.com @DimersCom

How Rory McIlroy and the rest of the field is chasing after Scottie Scheffler right now... <a href="https://t.co/WurJ0qcvEI">pic.twitter.com/WurJ0qcvEI</a>

No Laying Up @NoLayingUp

RORY COMINNNN!!!! <a href="https://t.co/a4tKVmawqi">pic.twitter.com/a4tKVmawqi</a>

The PGA Tour couldn't have asked for a better finish. Following the defection of so many top stars to LIV Golf, McIlroy is arguably the face of the tour now.

Sunday was an example of how he can move the needle like few others in the sport.

Chris Murphy @CS_Murph

Fitting finish to a tumultuous season that the man officially appointed to carry them through closes the door at the Tour Championship. Impressive win by Rory who continues to do great things around East Lake.

Brian Koziol @BrianWGR

Rory was the voice of the PGA Tour this season with all of its battles with the LIV Tour, he had a chance to win all the majors too, glad to see him win here <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/TourChampionship?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#TourChampionship</a>

Jace frederick @JaceFrederick

Lol. Seriously, Rory came up large on a number of fronts for the PGA Tour this year. Most fitting of champions in this of all years <a href="https://t.co/GBEwE2YXQV">https://t.co/GBEwE2YXQV</a> <a href="https://t.co/7IiGQo7B9H">pic.twitter.com/7IiGQo7B9H</a>

Carlo Colaiacovo @CarloColaiacovo

Only fitting that the face of the PGA tour Rory McIIroy wins the FedEx championship. Still can’t believe Scheffler blew a 6 stroke lead.

Jerod Smalley @JerodNBC4

What a year for Rory, in so many ways. The certified leader of the tour.

Paolo Uggetti @PaoloUggetti

a too-perfect ending to a wild pga tour season with rory winning. almost like someone was writing it. or making a netflix show about it

McIlroy came agonizingly close to winning The Open Championship in July, watching a four-shot advantage on Cameron Smith evaporate in the final round at St. Andrews. He followed that up by missing the cut in the FedEx St. Jude Championship.

The four-time champion rebounded nicely in Atlanta to end his season on a high note.

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