Belfast Telegraph

Rory McIlroy thrilled us with FedEx Cup triumph

By Steven Beacom

For Rory McIlroy this year may have been frustrating in terms of the four majors, but he will still reflect on 2016 with pride following his dramatic FedEx Cup success.

The FedEx Cup is the PGA Tour's season-long points race and entering the final event, the Tour Championship, McIlroy knew a win was a must to take home the $10m (£7.7m) prize.

McIlroy is at his breathtaking best at times like this, upping the ante, hitting awesome approach shots and holing outrageous putts, to put himself in contention and then seal the deal.

In late September at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta, just days before the Ryder Cup where McIlroy proved to be one of Europe's star performers, the Holywood hero had to show all his class to emerge victorious.

In the final round of the Tour Championship, McIlroy hit a 64 thanks to a stunning finish over the last few holes. American Ryan Moore posted the same score to set up a three-way play-off with Kevin Chappell (USA), who carded a 66.

After Chappell was eliminated, the stage was set for McIlroy and Moore to do battle and what a contest it turned out to be with both men producing the most sparkling of golf, leaving the galleries gasping and the millions watching on television around the world wondering what amazing shot making they were going to witness next.

Eventually on the fourth play-off hole, McIlroy rolled in a sublime 15 foot birdie to see off Moore and take the honours in the tournament and claim FedEx Cup glory for the first time in his stellar career.

"In that final round I just wanted to play as well as I could and see if I could win the tournament," said McIlroy (right, just after winning putt).

"The play-off was fantastic to be involved in because both Ryan and myself played well. To hole that winning putt in the end was a great feeling. Winning the Tour Championship and the FedEx Cup was fantastic."

No doubt in 2017 McIlroy will be aiming to retain the FedEx Cup. Don't be surprised if he wins a major or two as well, quite possibly the Masters which would complete the Grand Slam of the four biggest tournaments in the world.

Belfast Telegraph

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