Tampa Bay Sports Day

Return of the Rors: Rory McIlroy Wins FedExCup

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. –  Rory McIlroy finished the PGA TOUR’s new Season of Championships exactly how he started it – with a trophy in his hands.

The Northern Irishman captured the TOUR’s Ultimate Prize, the FedExCup, this past weekend in Atlanta to cap off a three-win season that all began with his victory at THE PLAYERS Championship in March.  

With the FedExCup victory, McIlroy not only earned the biggest purse in the history of the game, but he also earned a spot in the record books.

McIlroy joins Tiger Woods as the only players to win the FedExCup more than once and also becomes the first player in history to win THE PLAYERS and the FedExCup in the same season.  

In his post-win press conference on Sunday night, McIlroy reflected on one shot from his win at THE PLAYERS that effectively set him on the path to success for the remainder of the season: 

  “I hit a 6-iron out of the fairway bunker on 15 at THE PLAYERS on Sunday, sort of curved it around a tree, got it up there to 15 feet, and holed the putt for birdie. I think that basically set up me going on and winning THE PLAYERS Championship. And I think when I look back at everything this year, that was a — because if I don’t win THE PLAYERS, I don’t know what happens after that and where the season might go.”  

The now 17-time PGA TOUR winner entered the TOUR Championship at No. 5 in the FedExCup standings, five strokes back of leader Justin Thomas, who started the tournament at 10-under based on the TOUR’s new FedExCup Starting Strokes format.

McIlroy trailed the leaders by one stroke after the first and second rounds, and when inclement weather caused a delay of play during the third round, he needed to play a demanding 31 holes on Sunday before he was finally able to hoist the trophy.  

“What I kept telling myself today, focus on the process, not the prize,” McIlroy said after his win. “You know, it takes a lot of mental energy to do that because it’s very easy for your mind to wander, and it wants to wander and it wants to look ahead. But you have to be so concentrated on what am I doing and the here and the now that is going to help me get closer to that goal. And that’s what I’ve tried to do all year. I really stuck to that today.”  

McIlroy was the only player in the 30-man field who posted all four rounds at East Lake Golf Club in the 60s, and he also led the field in Strokes Gained: Off the Tee, Strokes Gained: Tee to Green and Driving Distance.

The win at East Lake marked his 14th top-10 finish of the season, the most of any player on TOUR.  

When McIlroy and the rest of the world’s best golfers return to THE PLAYERS Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass March 10-15, 2020, he will look to become the first player to win back-to-back titles at THE PLAYERS and, if successful, would also become just the seventh two-time champion of the tournament.  

More information about purchasing tickets to THE PLAYERS 2020 will be available in the coming weeks at THEPLAYERS.com.