Gullane, Scotland –
Rory McIlroy birdied the final two holes in a whiplash wind on Sunday to score a 2-under 68 to win the Genesis Scottish Open, his first on Scottish soil and the last major of the year. brought great confidence to
McIlroy was one shot behind Robert McIntyre and moved up to tie for first place on the par-3 17th with a near-perfect play down the slope for a four-foot birdie putt. He hit what McIlroy called his best shot of the year, hitting the wind with a 2-iron 10 feet for the final birdie.
It was heartbreaking for McIntyre, who shot one of his best shots to win the National Open. McIntyre hit a 3-wood four feet out of the rough on the 18th hole at the Renaissance Club, shoving his fists up as he dropped the 64.
Considering the rough and unrelenting winds off the Firth of Forth, this round was a notable final round and had long seemed to give the 26-year-old McIntyre an iconic victory of his young career.
McIlroy took his place, playing a tough back nine for 31 and finishing with two clutch birdies to take his first win since the Dubai Desert Classic.
Victory came at the perfect time. McIlroy is heading south to Royal Liverpool for the Open Championship to end his nine-year drought in the majors. McIlroy won the Claret Jug when the Open was last held at Royal Liverpool in 2014.
“It was a very tough day, a really tough day,” McIlroy said. “I’m really proud to have played 4 under on the back nine and won the tournament. I hit some great shots towards the end. It feels incredible. Six months is a long time.” “Since winning in Dubai, I have given myself a lot of chances and hopefully this win will unlock the seal for me, especially heading into next week.”
McIlroy finished 15-under 265 to move past Jon Rahm for second place in the world.
Scotty Schaeffler, the world’s No. 1 player, scored 70 points, tied for third with Ahn Byung-hoon (70 points) and David Ringmarth (68 points). Schaeffler has finished in the top five at seven tournaments, two of which have been majors.
Anne and Ringmarth have qualified for the Open Championship and won the consolation prize given to the top three players who have not yet been exempted. The final spot went to Nikolai Hoigor, 67, who will join his twin brother Rasmus at Royal Liverpool.
Scottish crowds have been chanting McIntyre’s name around the Renaissance Club all week, with McIntyre making a three-wood and birdie putt on the 18th, one of the hardest holes to close on the Tour. They roared when they decided.
McIntyre had to hold back his tears as he exited the green.
“I’ll never forget it. It had to take a minute from 6pm,” he said. “The Scottish Open is the tournament I want to play for the rest of my life, even if it’s not the Open Championship. It’s a tournament I’ve dreamed of winning ever since I watched it at home, and I thought a birdie would be the end of the day.” 18, I thought it might be this, but not just now.
“Rory McIlroy is potentially the best in the world, and today he showed why.”
McIlroy also matched him with an excellent shot in all respects.
With 201 yards to the pin, he hit the 3-iron perfectly into the wind, but McIlroy decided to replace the 3-iron with a 2-iron during the windy week.
“The 4-iron just hit the front edge,” McIlroy said. He had to hit the 2-iron a little cut and a little taller to get more distance in the wind, but “it was absolutely perfect.”
“This is probably the best shot I’ve hit this year,” McIlroy said. “When I hit a shot like that, I feel like I deserved to hole a putt to finish like that.”
The tournament was jointly sanctioned by the European Tour and the PGA Tour. McIlroy extended his lead at the Race to Dubai but still has work to do to catch up with Lahm and Schaeffler in the FedEx Cup.