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McIlroy storms to four-shot win to claim Tour Championship at East Lake

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Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland celebrates with the FedExCup trophy after winning the TOUR Championship, the final event of the FedExCup Playoffs, at East Lake Golf Club on August 25, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia.

Image credit: Getty Images

ByReuters
26/08/2019 at 07:37 | Updated 30/09/2019 at 13:55

Rory McIlroy put his major problems behind him with a sensational display at the Tour Championship. He won by four shots to clinch the FedEx Cup too.

Rory McIlroy went home with the $15million jackpot after a terrific display to lift the Tour Championship last night.

The Northern Irishman emphatically outduelled Americans Brooks Koepka and Xander Schauffele with a closing four-under 66 at East Lake en route to the biggest prize in the sport and he became the first player to win the Players Championship and the Tour Championship in the saqme season.

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Rory McIlroy claimed the Tour Championship for the second time in his career

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He finished at 18-under, four shots ahead of Schauffele while Koepka was a further shot back to claim the season-long FedEx Cup for the second time following his 2016 win.

"I must say I didn't enjoy that walk last year like everyone else did," McIlroy said. "I never took the fight to Tiger.

"It's amazing how different things can be in a year."

McIlroy took the fight to Koepka just four weeks after being given a lesson by the American when they were paired in the final round at a World Golf Championships event in Memphis.

"Going up against the number one player in the world today, he got one over me in Memphis and I wanted to get some revenge, McIlroy said.

"To play like that alongside Brooks, get the win, win the FedEx Cup, it's awesome."

Schauffele shot a closing 70, while Koepka was unusually error-prone in a 72 to tie for third with Justin Thomas, five shots behind.

McIlroy, who teed off one stroke behind Koepka, hit the ball long and straight as he split fairway after fairway.

Koepka, on the other hand, was often wayward. At the par-four seventh he lost a ball after hooking a tee shot into the trees and took a double-bogey.

McIlroy picked up three shots there with a birdie and from that point Schauffele was his main challenger.

The Northern Irishman opened the door slightly with bogeys at the 14th and 15th holes, but slammed it shut again with a clutch eight-foot par putt at the 16th.

His major results were disappointing, however, particularly a missed cut at the British Open in his homeland at Royal Portrush.

"To win three times is awesome," he said.

"I feel like I could have won more but to win the FedEx cup again, to persist the whole way throughout the year, to keep giving myself chances, even when I was getting knocked back and not be denied, I'm very proud of myself."

Top seed Thomas started at 10-under, the second seed at eight-under and so on down to even par for the 26th-to-30th ranked players in the field.

This was done to ensure that the winner of the season-long FedEx Cup points race and the winner of the Tour Championship were guaranteed to be the same person.

Fifth seed McIlroy, who started on five-under, shot the best score of the field anyway, 13-under-par 267.

(Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina Editing by Pritha Sarkar / Ian Ransom)

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