The four-time Major winner has won his fourth tournament of the year making 2019 one of his most successful seasons yet. So successful in fact, he is now within one point of Koepka in the Official World Ranking. Could Rory bag the top spot next year?
The Northern Irishman beat defending champion Xander Schauffele in Shanghai, to win the Old Tom Morris Cup. McIlroy began the day two ahead of Schauffele and completed a bogey-free, four under par round. Schauffele played every hole with McIlroy and shot six under. After both finishing 19 under par after four rounds, it was down to the play-offs, where Europe’s golden boy won at the first extra hole with a two-putt birdie.
“I’m excited for next year,” McIlroy said. “I feel like this year compares to 2014 but I don’t see any reason why I can’t go ahead and have an even better year. Look, the four wins have obviously been wonderful, but more than that, I think it is the consistency that I’m bringing week in, week out.”
“I played 73 holes this week with Xander, and I have to give credit to him. He’s battled the flu all week and he’s played unbelievably well considering how he’s been feeling.”
Schauffele put the pressure on McIlroy until the final hole. He pushed him all the way round 73 holes but still couldn’t get the win after McIlroy used his biggest asset, his driver. He hit down the fairway on the first playoff hole which was the pinnacle match moment for both McIlroy and Schauffele.
“The four wins this year have been wonderful. THE PLAYERS Championship, RBC Canadian Open, THE TOUR Championship to win the FedExCup, big events,” McIlroy said. “But more than that, I think it is the consistency that I’m bringing week-in, week-out. Even if I don’t have my best stuff, at least give myself a chance.”
“Right now, the game feels pretty simple,” he said Saturday evening in Shanghai. “I know that it’s not going to feel like that all the time, but when it does, you have to take advantage of that feeling.”
After the win in Shanghai, McIlroy becomes the first European to win three World Golf Championships.