Oct 18th, 2021
McIlroy win 20th PGA Tour title at CJ Cup
Northern Irishman bounces back after Ryder Cup disappointment
Words: GolfPunk Photography: Getty Images
It was a welcome return to form for McIlroy, who struggled at times in 2021 and had a Ryder Cup to forget, losing three of the four matches he played. This was McIlroy’s first outing since Whistling Straits and that emotional interview following the European loss.
“Yeah, it was huge, it really was. I was really disappointed with how I played,” said McIlroy when asked if the loss motivated him to win again.
“I get more emotional thinking about that than even thinking about this. Yeah, there was a lot of reflection the last couple of weeks and this is what I need to do. I just need to play golf, I need to simplify it, I need to just be me. I think for the last few months I was maybe trying to be someone else to try to get better and I sort of realized that being me is enough and being me, I can do things like this.”
McIlroy had trailed overnight leader Rickie Fowler by two shots heading into Sunday but four birdies and just a single dropped shot saw him close the gap on the leaders. Following a birdie at the 12th McIlroy holed a putt from off the front of the 14th green for eagle, to lead the field by three.
As Fowler faded Collin Morikawa became the primary challenger to McIlroy. The two-time major winner astonishingly birdied eight of his opening eleven holes; however, the birdies then dried up and although he eagled the last, he came up one shot short.
McIlroy parred his last four holes to finish on twenty-five-under-par and secure victory at the Summit Club in Las Vegas, his twentieth PGA Tour title and second of 2021, having won the Wells Fargo Championship in May.
Ricky Fowler signed for a one-under 71 and a share of third place alongside Talor Gooch, who matched Morrikawa’s 62. Americans Sam Burns and Aaron Wise were a further shot back on twenty-one-under-par alongside Adam Scott of Australia.