McIlroy romps to 7-shot win in Canada

Mo Yoshimoto
Rotoworld
Overnight tri-leader Rory McIlroy painted a 9-under 61 to win the RBC Canadian Open by seven shots. (Getty Images)

McIlroy romps to 7-shot win in Canada

Overnight tri-leader Rory McIlroy painted a 9-under 61 to win the RBC Canadian Open by seven shots. (Getty Images)

RBC Canadian Open

Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

Making his tournament debut, overnight tri-leader and World No. 4 Rory McIlroy made a mockery of Hamilton G&CC (and the field) in Sunday's finale, firing a career-tying-low, day-low, 9-under-par 30-31=61 to win by seven shots over runners-up Shane Lowry (67) and playing competitor and RBC Ambassador Webb Simpson (68), and set a new tournament aggregate scoring record along the way of 258 (22-under), brushing aside the previous record of 263, recorded on three occasions.

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RBC Ambassadors Brandt Snedeker (69) and second- and third-round co-leader Matt Kuchar (70) shared 4th place, nine adrift, while RBC Ambassador Adam Hadwin (70) finished solo 6th, 10 back, good for low Canadian (of 26).  

The 30-year-old, a pre-tourney 10/1 outright, bags his 16th PGA TOUR title in 162 events (161 pro), 15th in stroke-play events, and second of the season in 13 starts, joining THE PLAYERS six starts ago, where he came from one back (T2) with 2-under 70 to win by one out of the penultimate twosome. The last time McIlroy won two (or more) TOUR events in a season was 2016 (TOUR Championship; Deutsche Bank).

He becomes the season’s fourth multiple winner: Xander Schauffele, Kuchar, Brooks Koepka, McIlroy, each with two apiece.

Final Leaderboard (pre-tourney odds outright):

1- (-22, 258) Rory McIlroy (10/1)

2- (-15, 265) Shane Lowry (40/1)

2- (-15, 265) Webb Simpson (22/1)

4- (-13, 267) Brandt Snedeker (40/1)

4- (-13, 267) Matt Kuchar (18/1)

Note: Repeat top-10 finishers from last year: 1 player: Snedeker (4-8-5)

 

McIlroy’s Position by Round:

R1: T25 (4 back)

R2: T13 (5 back)

R3: T1

 

This was the Ulsterman’s second win in a tourney debut. His first was his maiden victory at the 2010 Quail Hollow (now Wells Fargo) Championship, where he came from four back (T7) with 10-under 62 to win by four. That win came as a first-time member though not a rookie, and, after making the cut on the number on 1-over (72-73), he played the weekend in 16-under (66-62), the 10-under finale a then-course-record.

This week, he was T13 at halftime (67-66), and played the weekend in 15-under (64-61), the 64 was a day-tying-low and the 61 was the low on Sunday.

The South Florida resident finished in the top 10 in all five strokes gained sub-categories, just the third player to accomplish that this season, second straight after Patrick Cantlay at last week’s Memorial, and just the fourth since the beginning of the 2016-17 season in 89 ShotLink-lasered events.

McIlroy, who checked in off a missed cut (by one) at last week’s Memorial, is going for his fifth major championship at this coming week’s U.S. Open at Pebble Beach, first since a one-shot win at the 2014 PGA (Valhalla; KY) 18 major starts ago.

Does McIlroy win in consecutive weeks/starts?

The answer is, YES. He won the 2012 Deutsche Bank and BMW Championships in back-to-back starts (back-to-back weeks), and also won three in a row in 2014: The Open, WGC-Bridgestone, and the PGA, the latter two in back-to-back weeks.

With those wins at the 2014 WGC-BI and the PGA, McIlroy is the most recent player to win the week prior to a major and then win the following week’s major.

However, Jordan Spieth is the most recent player to win a major while also winning in his previous start. He won the 2017 Travelers (P1) and then The Open (Royal Birkdale) in his next start, but those wins were separated by four weeks.

How McIlroy Won the Tournament:

Ranked 1st (or T1) in: Total Birdies; Birdie or Better Percentage; Par-4 Scoring; All-Around; SG: Off-the-Tee; SG: Tee-to-Green

Ranked 2nd(or T2) in: Birdie to Bogey Ratio; Driving Distance (all drives)

Note: See “Strokes Gained Leaders Stats” at the bottom, along with his full stats.

Least Important Stat(s): Scrambling (ranked 36th)

After kicking off with 67-66 and day-tying-low 64, McIlroy co-led with Simpson and Kuchar.

Playing out of the final twosome, he landed 11 (of 14) fairways and 11 greens in regulation, recording 2.003 SG: Off-the-Tee, 2.249 SG: Approach, 2.745 SG: Around, and 6.996 SG: Tee-to-Green.

McIlroy squared two bogeys at 16 and 18 (failed sand saves), smothered by a kick-in eagle-3 at 17 (from 30 inches), and nine birdies at 1, 2, 4, 5, 7 and 11-15, three from between eight and 11 feet, adding a 30-footer from the fringe at 14.

He recorded 1.273 putts per GIR and 1.680 SG: Putting with 22 total putts, wrapping the week with one eagle and 26 birdies versus six bogeys.

OUT: 5-under 30 (5 birdies, NO bogeys); McIlroy leads by 3 (over Kuchar)

IN: 4-under 31 (1 eagle, 4 birdies, 2 bogeys); McIlroy WINS by 7 (over Lowry, Simpson)

McIlroy improves to 12-for-13 on the season with 11 top 25s and 10 top 10s, six of those top 5s.

 

McIlroy’s Season:

Starts: 13

Cuts Made: 12

Top 25s: 11

Top 10s: 10

Top 3s: 3

Wins: 2

Season Form: 1-MC-8-8-21-9-1-6-2-4-5-4-54

Note: McIlroy is the 12th player this season (32 events) to MC the start prior and then win in their next start, fifth in the last seven.

By the Numbers:

0: Consecutive top 10s at Hamilton G&CC (from 2019 edition and 2012).

1: This was McIlroy’s first win as a 54-hole co-leader. In his other six conversions from the three-quarter mark, he was the outright leader by: 4 shots, 1, 6, 3, 2 and 8 shots, respectively.

7/4: McIlroy’s revised outright betting entering R4.

7: Largest margin of victory this season: 7 shots: McIlroy at Canadian Open. The next best is 5 shots by: Marc Leishman, CIMB; Dustin Johnson, WGC-Mexico.

21.088: McIlroy’s 21.088 SG: Total is the highest of the season, previously 20.432 by Dustin Johnson, winner by five at the WGC-Mexico.

4: In his 15 stroke-play wins on TOUR, McIlroy has won by seven or more shots four times. He won the 2011 U.S. Open (Congressional) and the 2012 PGA (Kiawah Island) by eight, and won this week and the 2015 Wells Fargo (Quail Hollow) by seven.

12: McIlroy was already the season-leader in top-10 finishes with nine and now has 10. It’s the third time in his TOUR career that he’s reached double-digits in top 10s in a season, joining 10 in 2012 and a career-best 12 in 2014. In those previous two seasons, he won one major in 2012, the PGA, and won two majors in 2014, The Open and the PGA.

54: This was McIlroy’s first 54-hole lead/co-lead since the 2016 WGC-Cadillac (Doral) 54 starts ago (finished T3). In between then and now, he’d been 2nd or T2 eight times, converting one of those into victory (2019 PLAYERS).

7: Before the above-mentioned WGC-Cadillac, McIlroy’s last 54-hole lead/co-lead was at the 2015 Wells Fargo, where he led by four and also won by 7 over Patrick Rodgers and playing competitor Simpson, so Simpson has been an eye witness and on the receiving end of each of McIlroy’s last two wins from the three-quarter pole.

70.18: McIlroy’s R4 scoring average as 54-hole leader/co-leader is 70.18 in 11 rounds. He’s a cumulative 10-under-par in those 11 rounds, with nine of those 10 strokes under-par coming on Sunday.

61: In 560 rounds on TOUR, McIlroy has shot a career-low 61 two times. This week, and in R3 of the above-mentioned 2015 Wells Fargo, although that was an 11-under version.

13: There were 13 RBC Ambassadors in the field with five of them finishing in the top 10: Simpson, Snedeker, Kuchar, Hadwin and Graeme McDowell (T8). Hadwin and McDowell earned spots into The Open at Royal Portrush in six weeks via The Open Qualifying Series.

T50: World No. 1 Brooks Koepka finished T50 on 2-under 278 (70-66-72-70). It was his first start since a successful defense at the PGA Championship three weeks ago.

61: RBC Ambassador and Canada’s Ben Silverman also shot a career-low 61 this week (in R2) en route to a T20. In last year’s edition at Glen Abbey, he carded a then-career-low 63 (9 birdies, 0 bogeys), also in R2, but finished T71.

60: Snedeker’s bogey-free 60 in R2 was the new course record at Hamilton G&CC but not a career low. He shot 59 in R1 of the 2018 Wyndham en route to a wire-to-wire victory. Since 1983, Sneds is the only player to shoot 59, 60 and 61.

1: Among his 20 TOUR wins, DJ has successfully defended a title one time, the 2009 and 2010 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. He finished this week’s defense T20 on 7-under 273 (71-65-68-69) as an 11/2 pre-tourney fave outright.

33: Through 33 events this season, the pre-tourney fave/co-fave has won one time: McIlroy (12/1) at THE PLAYERS.

T2: Lowry’s T2 was his second runner-up in 91 events, first since the 2016 U.S. Open (Oakmont; PA). Playing this season on conditional status, he’s now 5-for-10 with four top 25s and three top 10s. In individual play, it’s his third straight top 10 after T8 at the PGA and T3 at the RBC Heritage.

T8: Danny Willett finished T8 for his first TOUR top 10 since his win at the 2016 Masters 3 years, 2 months and 36 starts ago.

5: McIlroy is the third player this season to finish in the top 10 in all 5 strokes gained: sub-categories, second straight after Cantlay at the Memorial. Schauffele accomplished it at the 33-man Sentry TOC back in January. Prior to that, the last player was DJ at the 34-man 2018 Sentry TOC.

12: Kuchar has now led the FEC standings for 12 weeks this season, including the last 11 weeks consecutive. Like McIlroy, he also MC’d last week’s Memorial.

38: Of the 38 Canadian Open first-timers, the best finish was McIlroy. TOUR rookie Sungjae Im was next best with solo 7th in his eighth straight week of competition.

McIlroy’s TOUR Career:

Starts: 162

Cuts Made: 140 (86.4%)

Top 25s: 106 (65.4%)

Top 10s: 77 (47.5%)

Top 3s: 28 (17.2%)

Wins: 16 (9.87%)

 

This is McIlroy’s 10th season on TOUR. He turned pro in 2007 and played the 2009 season as a non-member, finishing top 125 on the non-member money list.

 

Wins (by season):

2019: 2 (Canadian Open; THE PLAYERS)

2018: 1 (Arnold Palmer Inv.)

2017: 0

2016: 2 (TOUR Champ; Deutsche Bank)

2015: 2 (Wells Fargo; WGC-Match Play)

2014: 3 (PGA Champ; WGC-BI; The Open)

2013: 0

2012: 4 (BMW Champ; Deutsche Bank; PGA; Honda)

2011: 1 (U.S. Open)

2010: 1 (Quail Hollow Champ)

McIlroy’s Q&A:

Q: Can we get an opening comment on the victory?

A: Yeah, delighted to be sitting up here. You know, it started off as a good week. I really was very glad to add this tournament to the schedule, especially after missing the cut last week at Memorial.

I did a little extra practice over the weekend (at Memorial); felt like my game was a little better coming in here…this is what I feel like I can do. I’ve been able to do it before.

Was sort of swinging very freely. Shot that 64 to get myself tied for the lead. I think what I’m proudest of is still playing with that freedom today…just putting my foot down and really making this tournament mine.

Strength of Field:

With a Strength of Field rating of 314 (up 46 from last year), McIlroy banks 48.00 world-ranking points: 

OWGR: From 4 to 3 (up 1)

FedExCup: From 4 to 2 (up 2)

Note: McIlroy won the FEC in 2016.

Field Scoring Average:

This was the 110thCanadian Open, sixth at Hamilton and first since 2012:

Par 70 (35-35)

6,967 yards

 

R1: 69.41

R2: 69.55

R3: 70.45

R4: 69.68

Total: 69.66

McIlroy: 67-66-64-61

SG: Total: 21.088

Leader/co-leaders by Round:

R1: Keegan Bradley (finished T44): Drops to 0-for-6 as 18-hole leader/co-leader

R2: Scott Brown (T31): Drops to 0-for-1 as 36-hole leader/co-leader

R2: Matt Kuchar (T4): Drops to 3-for-14

R3: Rory McIlroy (Won): Improves to 7-for-11 as 54-hole leader/co-leader

R3: Webb Simpson (T2): Drops to 3-for-9

R3: Matt Kuchar (T4): Drops to 4-for-9

 

Low Rounds:

R1: 63: Keegan Bradley

R2: 60: Brandt Snedeker; course record

R3: 64: Rory McIlroy, Jonathan Byrd

R4: 61: Rory McIlroy

 

Bogey-free Rounds:

R1: (13): Keegan Bradley (63); Sungjae Im (64); Roberto Castro (64); Adam Hadwin (65); Matt Kuchar (65); Jimmy Walker (65); Adam Schenk (66); Webb Simpson (66); Henrik Stenson (66); Colt Knost (67); Josh Teater (68); Paul Barjon (68); Kelly Kraft (68)

R2: (9): Brandt Snedeker (60); Scott Brown (63); Webb Simpson (64); Mackenzie Hughes (66); Henrik Stenson (66); Jose de Jesus Rodriguez (66); Brian Gay (66); Jim Furyk (67); George McNeill (68)

R3: (3): Rory McIlroy (64); Jonathan Byrd (64); Webb Simpson (67)

R4: (4): Sebastian Munoz (64); Stephan Jaeger (66); Kevin Tway (66); Graeme McDowell (68)

Multiple Bogey-free Rounds: Simpson (x3); Stenson (x2)

Draw:

A total of 71 pros from a field of 150 pros and six amateurs made the 36-hole cut of 2-under 138:

 

35 (of 78) EARLY/late

36 (of 78) LATE/early

 

Top 10s:

10

EARLY/late (7):

Rory McIlroy (Won); Shane Lowry (T2); Webb Simpson (T2); Matt Kuchar (T4); Adam Hadwin (6th); Sungjae Im (7th); Danny Willett (T8)

LATE/early (3):

Brandt Snedeker (T4); Graeme McDowell (T8); Henrik Stenson (T8)

Note: McIlroy won THE PLAYERS six starts ago, also out of the EARLY/late draw.

 

21

21 (of 33) tourneys so far this season with a traditional draw:

Winners:

EARLY/late: 8 (McIlroy)

LATE/early: 13

34

Season Winners, including team-Zurich:

14 winners were in their 20s

14 were in their 30s (McIlroy age: 30)

6 were in their 40s

Season Leaders in Top-10 Finishes:

10: Rory McIlroy

8: Matt Kuchar, Patrick Cantlay, Jon Rahm

7: Dustin Johnson, Gary Woodland

6: Sungjae Im, Marc Leishman, Scott Piercy

5: Adam Scott, Ryan Palmer, Brooks Koepka, Justin Rose, Sergio Garcia, Rickie Fowler, Paul Casey, Jason Day, Justin Thomas

 

Consecutive Top 10s on TOUR:

3: Jordan Spieth (7-8-3)

2: Shane Lowry (2-8)

2: Patrick Cantlay (1-3)

2: Adam Scott (2-8)

 

Consecutive Top-10 Streak Ended:

2: Brooks Koepka (50-1-4)

McIlroy’s Weekly Stats (ranking of 71 players):

Eagle: 1 (T5)

Birdies: 26 (1st)

Bogeys: 6 (T10)

Double Bogeys or Worse: 0 (T1)

Birdie or Better: 37.50% (1st)

Birdie to Bogey Ratio: 4.50 (2nd)

Par-3 Scoring: 2.88 (T4)

Par-4 Scoring: 3.73 (T1)

Par-5 Scoring: 4.13 (T3)

Driving Distance (all drives): 300.0 yards (T2)

Driving Accuracy: 37/56 (T6) at 66.07%

GIR: 55/72 (T11) at 76.39%

Proximity: 32’0” (5th)

Putts per GIR: 1.636 (3rd)

Total Putts: 110 (T13)

Putts by Round: 31-30-27-22

Scrambling: 11/17 (36th) at 64.71%

All-Around: 1st

Leaders in Strokes Gained Stats:

SG: Off-the-Tee:

1. Rory McIlroy (6.915)

2. Dustin Johnson (5.661)

3. Erik van Rooyen (5.232)

4. Nick Taylor (4.154)

5. Paul Barjon (3.096)

 

SG: Approach-the-Green:

1. Talor Gooch (9.679)

2. Jim Furyk (5.804)

3. Henrik Stenson (5.689)

4. Cameron Tringale (5.254)

5. Rory McIlroy (4.894)

 

SG: Around-the-Green:

1. Alex Noren (5.870)

2. Danny Willett (5.455)

3. Stephan Jaeger (4.853)

4. Jonathan Byrd (4.440)

5. Shane Lowry (4.024)

6. Rory McIlroy (3.449)

 

SG: Putting:

1. Webb Simpson (9.068)

2. Matt Kuchar (8.239)

3. Shane Lowry (7.658)

4. Brandt Snedeker (7.269)

5. Sungjae Im (5.839)

6. Rory McIlroy (5.828)

 

SG: Tee-to-Green:

1. Rory McIlroy (15.260)

2. Justin Thomas (9.468)

3. Danny Willett (9.316)

4. Adam Hadwin (7.912)

5. Talor Gooch (7.820)

 

 

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