2021 CJ Cup at Summit grades: Rory McIlroy wins for historic 20th time on PGA Tour

In his pre-tournament press convention on Wednesday at The Summit Membership in Las Vegas, Rory McIlroy was reminded that he was one win away from 20 PGA Tour victories, however two years from the lifetime membership that quantity affords you after at the least 15 years of service on Tour. After profitable the CJ Cup at Summit on Sunday over Collin Morikawa, all he has to do is wait.

McIlroy shot a 62 on Saturday earlier than backing that up with a 66 on Sunday to complete at 25-under and beat Morikawa, who shot his personal 62 within the ultimate spherical and misplaced by a single stroke. It was, because it virtually at all times is with him when he is feeling it, a present. On the weekend, McIlroy hit 31 of 36 greens in regulation and made virtually every part he checked out. He led the sector in driving and placing, and he was capable of get away with a below-average efficiency together with his iron play.

“It is fairly an achievement,” McIlroy instructed Golf Channel. “I nonetheless want a pair extra years on Tour to get that lifetime exemption, however at the least I’ve received the wins. I used to be requested that query at first of the week, and it’s a fairly massive carrot. I feel to get to twenty wins out here’s a massive achievement. I did not know if it was going to be this week, however I knew if I simply stored my head down and stored taking part in effectively and stored doing the fitting issues, I might finally get there.”

He additionally shut down Morikawa and others — together with Rickie Fowler and Keith Mitchell — principally with out utilizing his greatest weapon. After going out in 33, McIlroy got here residence pounding his 3-wood and hybrid off the tee to win this event. On the par-5 14th gap, he hit his 3-wood 343 yards and out-drove his taking part in companions Abraham Ancer by 21 yards and Fowler by a single yard, each of whom hit the motive force off the tee. From there, McIlroy hit iron wanting the inexperienced and made the putt for eagle to get to 25-under. It was each a knockout punch and likewise emblematic of how the second 9 of his ultimate spherical performed out.

Although it will not obtain the identical consideration as his Wells Fargo Championship victory in Could, this one is essential as a result of it will get him to twenty PGA Tour wins. On the age of 32, McIlroy turns into one of many youngest of 39 gamers in historical past to achieve that quantity.

We might go on eternally with numbers as they relate to McIlroy, however two nuggets stand out.

• At age 32, McIlroy has 20 PGA Tour wins and 4 majors. At the very same age practically 20 years in the past, Phil Mickelson — who I imagine is without doubt one of the 10 finest golfers within the historical past of the sport — had 21 PGA Tour wins and no majors.

• Jason Day (who’s a 12 months older than McIlroy) and Brooks Koepka (who’s a 12 months youthful) — each former No. 1 gamers on the planet — have a mixed 20 PGA Tour wins and 5 majors.

It’s completely astounding that McIlroy has matched one legend who’s a technology or two forward of him, whereas additionally matching the mixed careers of two of the 24 golfers who’ve ever ascended to the No. 1 rating on the planet (and who’re primarily the identical age). 

Curiously, McIlroy stated his outpouring of emotion on the Ryder Cup final month, the place he struggled a lot of the week earlier than profitable from leadoff place on Sunday, significantly benefitted him.

“It was large,” McIlroy stated. “It actually was. I used to be actually upset with how I performed. I get extra emotional fascinated with that than even fascinated with this. There was numerous reflection the final couple weeks. That is what I must do. I must play golf. I must simplify it. I want to only be me. I feel for the previous few months I used to be possibly attempting to be somebody else to attempt to get higher, and I form of realized that being me is sufficient, and I can do issues like this.”

It has been sufficient for the final 13 years to get him within the rarefied air the place names like Mickelson, Woods and Nicklaus are thrown round. It is going to virtually actually be sufficient into the long run, even in a sport that’s most likely deeper and harder to win than it has ever been. McIlroy did sufficient this week to get his first win of the brand new season, identical to he is finished 19 different occasions for greater than a decade. Grade: A+

Listed below are the remainder of our grades for the CJ Cup at Summit.

Collin Morikawa (2nd): The Open Championship winner gave a valiant effort on Sunday as he tried to chase down McIlroy with a 62 to shut out the occasion at his residence membership, however he wanted a totally good spherical and he solely shot a practically-perfect one. This can be a great bounce again from a horrible FedEx Cup Playoffs run. Although Morikawa has loads of capital constructed up and never a lot to show, it is nonetheless good to see him heading towards 2022 with all the shape that has ushered within the “5 wins in fewer than 60 tournaments” begin to his profession. Grade: A

Rickie Fowler (T3): After ending within the high 10 only one time in his final 37 occasions, Fowler had a tremendous week within the desert earlier than operating out of fuel on the very finish. There’s loads of cause to be inspired by the profile of his efficiency, too. Now we have at occasions previously — together with with Fowler on the 2021 PGA Championship the place he completed T8 — seen gamers catch fireplace with the putter for per week and end close to the highest of the board. This was not that, nonetheless. Fowler was really one of many worst putters within the subject throughout per week during which he completed first in driving and first from tee to inexperienced. It actually was astounding to see how effortlessly he was hitting it off the tee on Sunday. Hopefully, it is a signal of issues to come back for him in 2022. Grade: A+

Jordan Spieth (T18): It was an odd week for Spieth, who didn’t hit the ball very effectively, however was among the many high 5 on this subject in strokes gained off the tee. Usually, a trophy is concerned when Spieth is within the high 5 in a subject off the tee That is the very best measured driving week he is had off the tee since March 2018, however he could not money it in due to lackluster ball-striking and making simply three putts longer than six toes over his ultimate two rounds. Grade: B+

https://www.cbssports.com/golf/information/2021-cj-cup-at-summit-grades-rory-mcilroy-wins-for-historic-Twentieth-time-on-pga-tour/ | 2021 CJ Cup at Summit grades: Rory McIlroy wins for historic Twentieth time on PGA Tour


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