Rory McIlroy put the seal on his 16th PGA TOUR win and a runaway victory at the RBC Canadian Open as he came close to joining the ’59 Club’ at Hamilton Country Club in Ontario.
Starting the day in a three-way tie for the lead, McIlroy ended any suspense about who would emerge as the champion with five birdies in his first seven holes, none from longer than 8 feet.
The only question on the back nine was whether McIlroy would shoot the 11th sub-60 round in PGA TOUR history. He made four straight birdies from No’s.11-14, and a bogey on the par-3 16th stalled him only momentarily. He followed with a 7-iron from 196 yards to 2 feet for eagle on the par-5 17th to get to 10 under at the par-70 layout.
Erik van Rooyen could only manage a 71 as he dropped 11 places to share 20th
But he missed the green on the par-4 18th and his bunker shot went long. He ended up tapping in for bogey to finish at a tournament-record 22-under 258. The 61 equaled the low round of McIlroy’s PGA TOUR career.
McIlroy was five shots off the lead entering the weekend and shot 64 on Saturday before finding another gear on Sunday.
‘I think what I’m proudest of is still playing with that freedom today going out being tied for the lead. Just putting my foot down and really making this tournament mine,’ McIlroy said. ‘I think by the time I got to the 14th tee I wasn’t really thinking of winning the tournament. I was thinking of trying to shoot 59. I had to reassess my goals a little bit in the middle of that back nine.’
He settled for his 16th PGA Tour victory and 25th win worldwide, and the fourth by at least seven shots.
Shane Lowry and Webb Simpson tied for second at 15 under.
Adam Hadwin, seeking to become the first Canadian winner of the event since 1954, closed with a 70 and finished sixth, 10 shots back. His consolation prize was a spot in The Open Championship.
This was McIlroy’s fifth win in a national open, following the US Open (2011), Australian Open (2013), British Open (2014) and Irish Open (2016). He also counts the Hong Kong Open (2011) as part of his national-championship tally.
Final leaderboard (par-70):
258 – Rory McIlroy (NIR) 67-66-64-61
265 – Shane Lowry (IRL) 64-68-66-67, Webb Simpson 66-64-67-68
267 – Matt Kuchar 65-63-69-70, Brandt Snedeker 69-60-69-69
268 – Adam Hadwin (CAN) 65-66-67-70
269 – Jae Im-sung (KOR) 64-68-73-64
270 – Henrik Stenson (SWE) 66-66-68-70, Danny Willett (ENG) 66-68-69-67, Graeme McDowell (NIR) 65-67-70-68
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