Golfer Rory McIlroy had to fight tooth and nail in order to secure the TOUR Championship and the 2016 FedEx Cup bonus this weekend.. He needed to survive four holes of a sudden-death play-off before raising the trophy in Atlanta, and securing a US$ 11.5 million payday.
Up until the last two holes, Mcilroy was still four strokes down to Kevin Chappell. Thanks to an epic 137-yard shot in the 16th which somehow found the hole, he was able to secure an eagle and close out the gap. According to The Guardian, Chappell did Mcilroy a huge favor by hitting a bogey on the 17th. Another birdie from the Irishman managed to secure his spot in the play-off.
McIlroy and Chappell were joined by Ryan Moore, who later outlasted Chappell in the play-off. Chappell quickly fell off the pace in the first hole, while McIlroy and Moore kept up with each other for three holes. It was McIlroy’s putting that won him the ultimate prize, after he found the bottom of the hole after a 15-foot putt.
Despite not being part of the play-off, Dustin Johnson was a passive competitor in the sidelines. According to the PGA Tour website, he would have bagged the US$10 million FedEx Cup bonus if Moore had prevailed over McIlroy. Unfortunately for Johnson, he wasn’t able to do enough in the TOUR Championship in order to maintain his lead. McIlroy claimed the TOUR Championship title, as well as the more lucrative FedEx bonus.
The double victory for the weekend and also McIlroy’s second PGA Tour victory this month gives Team Europe a big boost for the upcoming Ryder Cup. Rory McIlroy has declared himself as the man to watch, as the team competition gets ready to roll in. Team Europe captain Darren Clarke will surely use the 27-year-old as his ace for the competition.