Rory McIlroy lands massive $10m payday in dramatic FedEx play-off win in Atlanta
Sensational Rory McIlroy secured the biggest payday of his career last night - by dramatically winning the Tour Championship and with it the $10million (£7.70million) FedEx Cup prize in a tense four-hole sudden death play-off with Ryan Moore.
Holywood star McIlroy also pocketed $1.5million (£1.15million) as the tournament winner after edging out Americans Kevin Chappell and Ryan Moore at East Lake, Atlanta.
It sets up 27-year- old McIlroy nicely, not just financially, but also for Europe's bid to retain the Ryder Cup against the USA at Hazeltine, Mineapolis this week under countryman and captain Darren Clarke who will have cheered his every shot in an incredible final round 64 last night.
"I feel like my game's coming together at the perfect time," McIlroy confirmed after his second win in three tournaments, his return to form signifying more to the World No3 than the boost to his already sizeable bank balance.
He added: "I just wanted to go out here and play the way I have been playing. I've played really well this week and my game is coming together at the right time. Two wins in three tournaments feels pretty nice.
"It was incredible. As I said at the start of the day all I wanted to do was concentrate on winning this championship. I couldn't control what anyone else did. I just needed to come out here and play a really good round of golf. Somehow I was able to tie it up in regulation time.
"I played with Ryan Moore all day who played phenomenally well and big credit to him. He has been playing fantastic golf so he should be really proud of himself."
Chappell, who was the overnight joint leader with Dustin Johnson, looked to be on course to take the tournament title but a bogey on the 17th allowed McIlory and Moore back in.
Chappell then dropped out on the first sudden-death hole before McIlroy held his nerve to beat Moore on the fourth extra hole after they could not be separated on the second or third.
A win for either American would have seen compatriot Johnson win the FedEx Cup, but it was the world number three celebrating at the end as he took home both titles.
Consolation for Moore could be the final wild card pick for the USA’s Ryder Cup team.
McIlroy began the final round of the Tour Championship with the intention of keeping a watchful eye on the performance of Dustin Johnson — and he may have struck an early Ryder Cup blow for Europe with his stunning victory. As Johnson imploded, McIlroy pounced and, after four thrilling play-off holes, overcame the challenge of Moore and Chappell to capture the tournament and the FedEx Cup.
McIlroy, two shots adrift of Johnson when he started his final round, produced some typical Rory magic by holing his 137-yard approach shot to the 16th for an eagle two to reach 11-under par.
He finished with a flourish with birdie on the last for 64, although he could have won the tournament there and then when his eagle putt just lipped out.
The birdie left him and Moore on -12 while, behind them, Chappell, playing alongside Johnson, bogeyed the 17th, only his third of the week. At that stage Johnson’s chances of winning the tournament had evaporated but he could still win the FedEx Cup.
The drama continued as Johnson holed out for a 73, the highest score of the day, and -5.
Chappell, on -12, had a 23-foot putt for birdie to close out the title, but it came up short and he got his par to join McIlroy and Moore in a playoff. Chappell was eliminated at the first extra hole, but McIlroy and Moore went to four holes before a birdie three on the 16th gave Rory the prize.