Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy warmed up for the forthcoming U.S Open Championship, the third major of the 2019 tour season, with a scintillating win in the Canadian Open – carding a final round 61 to end up on -22 for the tournament – his total score of 258 the lowest ever posted for the Canada’s premier golf tournament – held this year at the Hamilton Golf and Country Club, Hamilton, Ontario.
Such was the excellence of McIlroy’s (above) final round, he finished seven shots clear of the field, with Irishman Shane Lowry and American Webb Simpson finishing tied in second place on -15. The combined scores of the following five placed players in the final round only totalled -6, with no golfer being able to shoot any better than -6 on the final round – other than McIlroy.
McIlroy actually had a chance to shoot a 59 and join a select band of golfers who have posted the holy grail of sub 60 scores in a Tour event. He needed a birdie on the last hole to make the achievement…but an errant approach shot found a greenside bunker (above) which ended up as a bogey, though it still didn’t take the edge off what was a superb round of golf – and a perfect way to gain momentum and confidence going to Pebble Beach for the U.S Open, which starts in just a few days time.
Rory had carded a third round 64 to propel himself into a three way tie for the lead after 54 holes with Americans Matt Kuchar and Webb Simpson. But no one could live with the young superstar, who blazed a trail around the front nine to take a commanding lead that he would not relinquish – firing home five birdies before the turn – and then leaving the field in his wake with a four more successive birdies on 11-14. An eagle on the 17th was offset by bogies on the 16th and, as above, on the final hole.
McIlroy knew that the manner of the win sets him up perfectly for his assault on Pebble Beach, saying to Sky Sports : “I played with so much freedom over the weekend, more freedom than I’ve had for a while, which is exciting. To get a win going into next week is huge.”
The win is the second on the season for McIlroy, after he won the Players Championship in March.
On the back of this performance, who would bet against him claiming the fifth major of his career and second U.S Open Championship.