Rory McIlroy storms back 6 to win FedEx Cup and $18 million

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ATLANTA — Rory McIlroy, the loudest voice on the PGA Tour in a tumultuous year, had the last laugh with his clubs on Sunday when he rallied six shots behind to claim the Tour championship and clinch the FedEx Cup for the third time.

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McIlroy took home $18 million, bringing his PGA Tour earnings to more than $26 million for the season. He finished with a 4-under 66 to pass Masters champion Scottie Scheffler, who birdied just one in 73.

Sungjae Im pulled back with a double bogey on the 14th hole and still shot a 66 to tie for second with Scheffler.

McIlroy referred to the final round as a “show,” and not just because of the pro-McIlroy crowd chanting his name along the final holes.

“Two of the best players in the world are heading to the best circuit,” he said.

McIlroy needed a lot of help from Scheffler, the No. 1 seed, who started with a two-stroke lead and never trailed until the 70th hole. Scheffler, who birdied four of six holes Sunday morning to complete the third round and build a six-shot lead, lost it in the first seven holes.

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And then it was nail biting until the very end, a stunning afternoon at East Lake that turned into two shots.

McIlroy birdied a 30-foot putt on the par-3 15th hole to tie the lead. After hovering around the green about 20 yards, his shot was running fast and headed to the front of the green when it hit the pin and settled 7 feet.

He saved the normal. Scheffler missed his 10-footer and bogeyed, and they tied pars the rest of the way.

Scheffler’s 4-iron on the par-5 18 sailed short and to the right and into a bunker, and it exploded onto the green. McIlroy went left against the stand, took a relief and stepped onto the green for an easy par.

McIlroy won in 2016 in the playoffs. He won the FedEx Cup again in 2019, the first year of a staggered start. But it could have been the sweetest of the fall, after a year in which the PGA Tour was in an ugly battle for players with Saudi-funded LIV Golf.

It was McIlroy who declared a fierce loyalty to the PGA Tour over the past few years and joined Tiger Woods to lead a momentous players-only meeting last week that led to significant changes to come.

“I believe in the game of golf. I believe in this tour, in particular. I believe in the players on this tour,” McIlroy said during the trophy presentation. “It’s the best place in the world to play golf, bar none, and I’ve played everywhere.”

Corey Conners of Listowel, Ont., the lone Canadian in the event, fired 67 shots Sunday to finish 26th at 3 under.

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