McIlroy goes back-to-back, defends RBC Canadian Open title
TORONTO, Ont. – Rory McIlroy’s bid to defend his RBC Canadian Open title is complete.
McIlroy fired an eight-under par 62 in the final round of Sunday’s National Open at St. George’s Golf & Country Club to win his second consecutive RBC Canadian Open, three years and four days after he hoisted the trophy in 2019 at Hamilton Golf & Country Club.
“It means an awful lot. I feel like it’s getting tougher and tougher to win on the PGA TOUR,” said McIlroy. “I went out with a lead and had to shoot 8-under par to get the job done. So, the depth of talent on this TOUR is really, really impressive.”
The Northern Irishman’s win in Canada marks his first-ever successful title defence on the PGA TOUR and his 21st tournament victory, putting him in a tie for 31st on the all-time wins list.
“Super happy to get that 21st win [and] to defend,” said McIlroy. “To play in a final group like that with that atmosphere all day. I mean the fans here this week have just been absolutely unbelievable – like so good and so cool to play in an atmosphere like that. Boisterous, loud, but respectful.”
The 33-year-old joins J. Douglas Edger, Leo Diegel, Sam Snead, Jim Ferrier, Jim Furyk and Jhonattan Vegas as players to win back-to-back at the RBC Canadian Open. McIlroy is also the first champion since Jim Furyk in 2006-07 to win back-to-back titles at two different venues—Furyk accomplishing the feat at Hamilton Golf & Country Club (2006) and Angus Glen Golf Club (2007) while McIlroy followed up his 2019 victory at Hamilton Golf & Country Club.
McIlroy is now two-for-two north of the border and his return for 2023 at Oakdale Golf & Country Club is all but confirmed.
Justin Rose’s final round 10-under par 60 is the lowest final round score in the history of the tournament, one upping McIlroy’s 61 in the final round of the 2019 RBC Canadian Open.
Corey Conners went out with a bang, matching McIlroy’s round of eight-under par 62 and catapulting up the leaderboard for a sixth-place finish. The Listowel, Ont. native earned the Rivermead Challenge Cup as the low-Canadian professional at the RBC Canadian Open for the first time.
“There’s a great list of Canadians who have their names on that trophy, so definitely an honor to have my name added,” said Conners. “It was a great week and hopefully start there and can challenge for the title in the next few years.”
Tony Finau entered Sunday’s final round with a share of the lead, and albeit a respectable six-under 64, he could not keep pace with the eventual winner. Justin Thomas also carded a final round 64 to finish in sole position of third place.
Keith Mitchell and Wyndham Clark have qualified for the 150th playing of The Open Championship as the leading two finishers within the top-eight who weren’t otherwise already exempt into the tournament. The Open will be played at St. Andrews, July 14-17.
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