Rory McIlroy had just pulled off the greatest final-round comeback in Tour Championship history and pocketed an eye-popping $18 million by winning the FedExCup, but he couldn’t help but feel guilty as he approached the family of the player he had just beaten.
“I’m sorry,” McIlroy said to Scott Scheffler, father of Scottie Scheffler, the world’s top-ranked player who began the week at 10 under thanks to a magical season that included a Masters victory and three other high-profile wins but had faltered on Sunday at East Lake and finished a shot back of McIlroy.
“No, you don’t have to do that,” Scott said to McIlroy as the two embraced in a hug.
“He deserves it,” McIlroy continued. “He’s had an unbelievable year.”
“I love you, too,” Scott added as McIlroy then hugged Scottie’s wife, Meredith, and mother, Diane.
“So proud of you,” Meredith Scheffler said to McIlroy. “That’s amazing. You kicked butt today. Congrats.”
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) August 28, 2022
The heartwarming moment was caught on video and showed that despite everything on the line, sportsmanship trumps all.
Later on, during his winner's press conference, McIlroy reiterated what he told the Schefflers.
“Scottie Scheffler is going to win the Player of the Year, there's no doubt about that,” McIlroy said. “He deserves this [FedExCup win] maybe more than I deserve it. He played an unbelievable season. Hell of a player, hell of a competitor. Even better person.”