2022 Tour Championship leaderboard, winner: Rory McIlroy comes from behind to win M payout, third FedEx Cup

2022 Tour Championship leaderboard, winner: Rory McIlroy comes from behind to win $18M payout, third FedEx Cup

One could not discuss the future of the PGA Tour this season without Rory McIlroy’s name on their lips. On Sunday at the 2022 Tour Championship, McIlroy reminded him that it matters now. Despite trailing by 10 shots at East Lake Golf Club in the final event of the FedEx Cup Playoffs, McIlroy (-21) rallied on Sunday to overtake world No. 1 Scottie Scheffler, becoming the first three-time winner in history. of the FedEx Cup and keep the $18 million first-place prize that comes with the trophy.

Unlike some tournaments where he digs himself into a hole that he needs to fight for – which he certainly did by opening this event with a triple bogey on Thursday – McIlroy was in the conversation from the start at East Lake by posting 67s. in consecutive rounds to open the game. However, it was the third-round match on the back nine that he concluded early on Sunday that made him a real contender as Rory birdied three of the last six holes to card a 63 and take his place alongside Scheffler in the final pair as he piled on the pressure. on the 54-hole leader despite a six-stroke deficit.

“I’ve been in the last group here three of the last five years,” McIlroy said. “I didn’t give myself much of a chance to pull out today. I’m six behind, I thought it would be very difficult to make adjustments. But. [between] my good play and Scottie’s good play, it was a ball game going into the back nine.”

McIlroy’s fourth round started with a wild swing, but he drew with Scheffler after the Texan put three bogeys on his scorecard in the first six holes. With McIlroy converting five birdies in his first 12 holes, the race was officially on as the pair approached the turn. Another bogey on the 14th pushed McIlroy back behind Scheffler, but Rory responded immediately with a stunning 31-foot birdie putt on the 15th that sent the crowd into a frenzy and moved him back into a tie on the leaderboard.

It was on the 4th 16th that McIlroy came close to being undone. Sitting on the fairway after his second shot, his third flew over the green nearly 30 yards. However, Rory’s next chip clipped the flagpole, Scheffler missed 9 feet and McIlroy saved the putt. of the solo lead and became the first golfer to win the top spot from Scheffler this week.

Leading by a stroke entering the 18th, McIlroy watched as Scheffler found the bunker only to follow by bouncing his own approach from grandstanding in the rough. When Scheffler hit the green with his third shot from the green, that left McIlroy with the option of playing conservatively to the middle of the green and two-putting for the FedEx Cup title.

“I feel like Scottie deserves at least half of this today,” McIlroy said first after being introduced as the champion. “He’s had an unbelievable season. I feel bad … but he’s a great competitor. He’s the best guy. It was an honor and an opportunity to fight him today.”

Scheffler, a four-time PGA Tour winner this season and the world’s highest-ranked golfer for nearly a year, tied for second with Sungjae Im; each took home $5.75 million, and split the second and third place prizes.

McIlroy later referred to the “battle of Georgia” between the two giants of the game as Scheffler defeated McIlroy in the 2022 Masters at Augusta National in April. As the tide went towards the 26-year-old’s first major of the year (and for a long time), on Sunday, the golf gods wished victory for the man from Northern Ireland, and made amends for the season that took place. four top 10 finishes in major championships including a heartbreaker (in the Open Championship at St. Andrews) and left a sour taste in McIlroy’s mouth.

“It means so much [to win the Tour Championship],” said McIlroy. “I believe in the game of golf. I believe in this visit in particular. I believe in the players on this tour. It’s the best place in the world to play golf, bar none, and I’ve played all over the world.

“This is a very proud moment for me, but it should also be a proud moment for the PGA Tour. They’ve had some tough times this year, but we’re getting through it. That was the show today – – two of the best players in the world going head-to-head for the prize the biggest on the PGA Tour — and I hope everyone at home enjoyed that.”

Being the top seed on the PGA Tour, leading against the inaugural LIV Golf Series and still able to play at a high level on the biggest stage, the taste of victory was even sweeter for McIlroy in Atlanta.

In a week that began with McIlroy and Tiger Woods leading efforts off the golf course to ensure the future of the game, it was McIlroy’s performance inside the ropes that reaffirmed what the PGA Tour has cannot be recreated.

Here is a breakdown of the 2022 Tour Championship leaderboard at East Lake Golf Club.

T2. Scottie Scheffler, Sungjae Im (-20): The stars were aligned for Scheffler to claim history at East Lake. Starting the week with a two-stroke lead, building it to seven and starting the final round with a six-stroke lead, Scheffler just let the FedEx Cup slip through his fingers. After playing the last six holes in 4 under to finish his third round on Sunday morning, it felt inevitable this week he would continue in the same style as his spring when he grabbed his four wins.

With a win, Scheffler would have secured the richest season in PGA Tour history and only the fifth five-win season in the last decade, joining Tiger Woods, Jason Day, Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas. He would also put the stamp on what has been a breakout campaign. While the $12.25 million difference between the first-place finisher and Scheffler’s T2 total may sting, Scheffler will take solace in a very good season. He’s likely to be named your PGA Tour Player of the Year and will remain No. 1 in the world, but alas, sometimes even the best fall short when the lights are brightest.

An Atlanta native, Im was going about his business uneventfully and tried hard to recover from a serious injury to his back on Sunday nine. He had been within one shot of the lead many times, but it was a double bogey on the 4th 14th that finally eliminated his title from FedEx Cup contention. With just one win to his credit this season, Im’s consistency finally paid off with a shared second-place check. He entered the postseason with back-to-back wins and rode this streak to three straight top-15 finishes. It’s easy to forget Im is just 24 years old, and who’s to say a Scheffler-type season isn’t on the way for him as he now hopes to lead the international team to a major upset at the President’s Cup in September.

4. Xander Schauele (-18): The East Lake savant was one of three players to touch the lead during the Tour Championship, but Schauffele followed up immediately when he did. Without Saturday’s rain delay, we might be discussing a different story, but in the end, the weekend was his undoing. One of the four players who did not make it to the third round, Schauffele could not keep up with his competitor, Scheffler, and eventually the field.

T5. Max Homa, Justin Thomas (-17): Homa, the man who claimed the first competition of the 2021-22 campaign, saved his season in impressive fashion. Playing his final 56 holes in 18 under, Homa was able to climb from the depths of the leaderboard and into the seven-man charge. The confident King should only continue this streak into next year as he has added two wins, a top-five finish at the Tour Championship and (more than likely) an appearance for the United States in the President’s Cup at Quail Hollow – the site of his first on the PGA Tour — for his play summary.

T7. Patrick Cantlay, Sepp Straka (-16): This week had all the makings of a regular FedEx Cup title for Cantlay as the PGA Tour Player of the Year was enough performance to keep him away from claiming the year’s top prize. Starting the week in second place at 8 under, the Californian was a fixture on the front page of the leaderboard despite some struggles throughout the week. Cantlay was among the leaders in both batting averages but uncharacteristically ranked outside the top 25 in batting average, putting him out of just 29 players. He was statistically better than last season, but despite the success, the 30-year-old player, taking the equipment of the Zurich Classic and the BMW Championship, feels light.