Rory McIlroy outlasted Ryan Moore and Kevin Chappell in a three-way playoff Sunday to win both the Tour Championship and FedEx Cup title.
The 27-year-old superstar charged late with a final-round score of 64, matching the two Americans after 72 holes. After knocking out Chappell in the first playoff hole, Moore kept the pressure on with a handful of clutch putts. However, McIlroy came through in the fourth playoff hole to earn the big win.
Dustin Johnson faltered late and ended in a tie for sixth place, although he would have won the FedEx Cup if either Moore or Chappell had survived the playoff. Unfortunately, he will have to settle for second in the standings after an impressive season.
McIlroy will take home the winner's share of $1,530,000 for the Tour Championship as well as $10 million for the FedEx Cup title.
Justin Ray of Golf Channel puts these numbers in perspective:
Here is a look at the final results and payouts from East Lake:
|Tour Championship Payouts|
|T10||Si Woo Kim||-2||$218,620|
|Final FedEx Cup Payouts|
Johnson came into the day as the leader for both the tournament and the FedEx Cup standings, putting himself in great position to end up with the big pay day.
According to ESPN Stats & Info, he had six of 10 events where he had a share of the lead going into the final round.
He seemed to be in good shape after a birdie on the third hole, but his day went south in a hurry with back-to-back bogeys on No. 5 and No. 6.
The tournament eventually blew wide-open on a disaster at No. 12, per Jason Sobel of ESPN.com:
This left the door open for Moore and Chappell to battle for the tournament lead, although neither was a real threat to win the FedEx Cup in the process. McIlroy was the only person who could challenge Johnson, and sure enough, he came through with a strong effort as well.
The Northern Irish star was three back on the lead until this incredible eagle on the 16th hole, via PGA Tour:
With McIlroy within sight of the lead, he chose to be aggressive on No. 18 with this shot, via PGA Tour:
He turned this into a birdie to earn a share of the lead, which held after Moore's putt for the lead lipped out. Once Chappell matched the duo with a par on 18, the trio moved to a three-way playoff.
Meanwhile, Johnson had to settle for a tie for sixth after a disappointing 73.
Sergio Garcia was one of the many fans excited to watch the upcoming playoff:
McIlroy appeared to be in a great position on the first playoff hole, putting himself on the green in two shots. Ray noted how well he performed with immense pressure:
However, Moore came through with a clutch putt to earn a birdie. McIlroy then missed his attempt for an eagle and had to settle for a birdie as well. Chappell was eliminated with a par.
After McIlroy and Moore matched each other on the next two holes, it all came down to the fourth playoff hole on No. 16. Although he wasn't able to eagle like he did earlier in the day, McIlroy came through with a tough birdie putt to secure the victory, courtesy of PGA Tour:
This is the second win in three starts for McIlroy, who also won the Deutsche Bank Championship earlier in the month. Although it wasn't his most consistent season, he will be happy taking home a massive paycheck with the latest victory.
While this marks the official end of the PGA Tour season, golf fans can turn their attention to the upcoming Ryder Cup. The best players from the United States will battle Europe in a team competition with a lot of pride on the line.
Europe has won six of the last seven competitions and is looking to retain the championship at Hazeltine Golf Club in Chaska, Minnesota.
Since he wasn't in the top five of the FedEx Cup standings entering the day, McIlroy needed to both win the Tour Championship and have some help from those in front of him. Still, this didn't affect his strategy.
"All I wanted to do was concentrate on winning the Tour Championship," McIlroy said after the win, per BBC Sport. "I couldn't control what anyone else did. I needed to come out here and play a really good round of golf. I just wanted to go out and play the way I have been playing."
Johnson's struggles down the stretch left things open, and McIlroy took care of the rest for the win.
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