Rory McIlroy makes history with third FedEx Cup win and clinches $18m prize after remarkable comeback

·3-min read
Rory McIlroy has now made £36.6m in his three Tour Championship victories  (Getty Images)
Rory McIlroy has now made £36.6m in his three Tour Championship victories (Getty Images)

Rory McIlroy became the first player ever to win golf’s lucrative FedEx Cup three times after a stunning comeback to clinch the PGA Tour Championship ahead of Scottie Scheffler in Atlanta on Sunday.

The four-time major winner started the final day at East Lake Golf Club six shots off top spot, only to produce a remarkable final-round four-under 66 to finish on 21-under-par for the tournament, one stroke ahead of reigning world No1 Scheffler and South Korea’s Sungjae Im.

McIlroy - who also won the Tour Championship in 2016 and 2019 - was a full 10 shots off the lead after a miserable first two holes on Thursday that saw him produce a dismal triple bogey followed by another bogey, but now pockets a huge $18million (£15.3m) after an amazing turnaround in fortunes.

The Northern Irishman, who shot a seven-under 63 after birdies on his final two holes on Saturday, tastes a significant victory having acted for a number of difficult months as one of the PGA Tour’s leading defenders and most outspoken critics of the breakaway LIV Golf Series as the sport’s ugly civil war has dragged on unabated.

McIlroy’s season prize money has now soared to more than $26m. He has earned some $43m now from the FedEx Cup alone.

“What a week, what a day,” McIlroy said at the prize presentation. “Firstly I want to say I feel like Scottie deserves at least half of this (trophy). He has had an unbelievable season. I feel sort of bad that I pipped him to the post.

“He’s a hell of a competitor, he’s an even better guy, it was an honour and a privilege to battle with him today and I’m sure we’ll have many more. I told him we’re one-all in Georgia this year; he got the Masters, I got this.

“I didn’t really give myself much of a chance teeing off today, I thought six behind was going to be really tough to make up but my good play and Scottie’s not-so-great play meant it was a ball game going into the back nine.”

Asked what it to meant to win in a season in which he has emerged as one of the PGA Tour’s biggest advocates in its battle with LIV Golf, McIlroy added: “It means an awful lot.

“I believe in the game of golf, I believe in this Tour in particular, I believe in the players on this Tour. It’s the greatest place in the world to play golf, bar none, and I’ve played all over the world.

“This is an incredibly proud moment for me but it should also be an incredibly proud moment for the PGA Tour. They have had some hard times this year but we are getting through it and that was a spectacle out there today.

“Two of the best players in the world going head to head for the biggest prize on the PGA Tour and I hope everyone at home enjoyed that.”

Additional reporting by the Press Association.