Saturday, 25 May 2024

A TWO SHOT DEFICIT | Golf: McIlroy turns 2-shot deficit into 5-shot win for 4th Wells Fargo title

IANS | Updated on Monday, May 13, 2024 12:12 PM IST
Golf: McIlroy turns 2-shot deficit into 5-shot win for 4th Wells Fargo title

CHARLOTTE (US): Rory McIlroy overturned a two-shot deficit as he played his final 11 holes in six-under to win the Wells Fargo Championships by a whopping five shots despite a closing double bogey.

The 35-year-old Northern Irishman produced a stunning burst of golf by landing two eagles and four birdies over an eight-hole stretch from Hole No. 8 to breeze to his second win of the season. He also won the Hero Dubai Desert Classic on the DP World Tour and was third at the Texas Open.

Korea’s Byeong Hun An (66) was third at 9 under, and Jason Day (70) and Sungjae Im tied for fourth a 6-under.

Indian-Americans Sahith Theegala (72) at 8-over was T-52 and Akshay Bhatia (74) was 5-over and 42nd. Both will head to the PGA Championships at Valhalla next.

McIlroy won the Wells Fargo for a record fourth time even as no other player has won the event more than twice. It was his second straight PGA Tour event after partnering Shane Lowry to take the Zurich Classic two weeks ago in New Orleans. It was also his 26th PGA Tour win.

The two wins in two starts should give McIlroy ideal momentum heading to Kentucky for the PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club, the site of his last major win 10 years ago.

"I really got some confidence," McIlroy said. "My golf swing feels a lot more comfortable than it has. So going to a venue next week where I’ve won, it feels like the stars are a lining a little bit. But I’ve got a lot of golf to play and a lot of great players to try to beat next week. Going into the next major of the year feeling really good about myself."

McIlroy has often called Quail Hollow one of his favourite courses because it allows for him to take advantage of his length off the tee. But it was his putting that won him the 26th career PGA TOUR title Sunday. He needed just 25 putts, making five longer than 10 feet.

Schauffele finished second for the second straight year and saw his winless drought stretch to 39 tournaments, a streak dating to 2022. He led by four shots after 36 holes.

An set himself up for a strong showing at the upcoming PGA Championship, the year’s second major. The 32-year-old An hit an impressive seven birdies against two bogeys at Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte, North Carolina to post his career best score in the US$20 million tournament even though he finished a distant eight shots back of runaway winner, Rory McIlroy

It was his fifth top-10 of the season, and second in successive weeks after a T4 in The CJ Cup Byron Nelson last weekend.

An is also a strong contender to qualify for the Paris Olympic Games in August and make the International Team for the Presidents Cup against the U.S in September.

As An finished third, his Korean compatriot Sunjgae Im, who started the final round four shots off the lead, endured a tough front nine 39 before salvaging his day with birdies on 11 and 12 for a 73 to finish tied fourth alongside Australian Jason Day. It was his second top-10 of the season after a tied fifth at the season-opening The Sentry in Hawaii, and moved him up to 27th place in the FedExCup rankings.

Si Woo Kim closed with a 70 for a share of 16th place while Tom Kim came home in 76 to settle for T47

 

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