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Dublin: 7°C Sunday 25 October 2020

Rory McIlroy wins $11.5 million playoff with some jaw-dropping golf

McIlroy wins sudden-death playoff at Tour Championship, pipping Dustin Johnson to FedEx Cup bonus.

McIlroy: took four playoff holes to separate him and Moore.
McIlroy: took four playoff holes to separate him and Moore.
Image: John Bazemore

RORY MCILROY WAS celebrating an $11.5 million payday on Sunday night after a sensational finale at the Tour Championship.

With the $10 million FedEx Cup bonus on the line, as well as the $1.53 million tournament first prize, McIlroy made birdie at the fourth playoff hole to finally shake off the challenge of Ryan Moore.

The pair finished their final rounds locked on -12 along with Kevin Chappell, forcing a three-way playoff to decide the last tournament of the PGA Tour calendar.

With Dustin Johnson slipping back to finish in a tie for sixth, McIlroy knew that a playoff win would be enough to guarantee him the season-long bonus pot while a win for Moore or Chappell would hand it to Johnson.

And after a par on the first sudden-death hole saw Chappell eliminated, McIlroy and Moore were inseparable on nail-bitingly tense second and third holes before the world number three eventually prevailed.

McIlroy started his final round two shots off the lead, held overnight by Johnson and Chappell, but turned on the style to shoot five-under-par for his final nine holes.

He kicked off the back nine with back-to-back birdies before this stunning eagle on the 16th moved him on to the tail of the leading pair.

Posted by on Sunday, 25 October 2020

A par four on the 17th left McIlroy knowing that he would need a birdie or better on the par-five last to have any chance of forcing a playoff.

And after finding the front bunker with his second shot, he then produced this piece of wizardry to leave himself with a tap-in birdie and a 64.

Posted by on Sunday, 25 October 2020

Moore and Chappell both made par for a 64 and 66 respectively, forcing the trio to go back down the 18th again in a bid to separate them.

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McIlroy looked to have saved his best golf for when it mattered most and stitched a glorious approach — complete with club twirl — to leave himself with a six-foot eagle putt for the win and the whole $11.5 million kitty.

Posted by on Sunday, 25 October 2020

But his eagle putt lipped out and Moore held his nerve to force the playoff to a second hole with a birdie of his own.

Again, McIlroy was in pole position thanks to a brave second shot which saw him attack a line underneath the trees rather than playing safe. He couldn’t make the advantage count however, misjudging his chip on and then taking two putts for par, which Moore was able to match.

Both players left themselves with work to do at the par-three 15th and this time, it was McIlroy who needed to hold his nerve to avoid defeat, holing a clutch par save after Moore had chipped out of the rough to within about 18 inches.

A magnificent second shot into the par-four 16th left McIlroy with a 14-foot birdie putt, and after Moore holed a par putt of his own to keep the pressure on, the world number three rattled in the winning putt.

Posted by on Sunday, 25 October 2020

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Niall Kelly

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