Rory McIlroy regains his winning touch in Las Vegas

Rory McIlroy fought off a stiff challenge from Vegas resident Collin Morikawa to secure his 20th win on the PGA TOUR

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Rory McIlroy - CJ CUP - PGA TOUR - Getty Images

18 October 2021: Rory McIlroy capped off a big weekend in Las Vegas on Sunday by surging past Rickie Fowler and holding off Collin Morikawa to win the CJ Cup at Summit for his 20th PGA Tour title.

McIlroy seized control with a 35-foot eagle putt from just off the green on the par-5 14th and then playing mistake-free down the stretch for a 6-under 66 and a one-victory.

McIlroy is the 39th player to win at least 20 times on the PGA Tour, and it’s his fifth straight PGA Tour season with at least one win.

Fowler, who started the final round with a two-shot lead as he tried to end nearly three years without a victory, faded with a pair of three-putts and shot 71 to tie for third. The threat came from Morikawa, a member at The Summit Club, who shot 29 on the front to get in the mix and closed with an eagle for a 62.

That forced McIlroy to play mistake-free after his big eagle putt on the 14th, and he never came close to a bogey in finishing at 25-under 263.

He went into the weekend nine shots out of the lead, made up plenty of ground with a 62 on Saturday and then pulled away by taking advantage of the scoring holes.

Keith Mitchell, who had a five-shot lead going into the weekend until a 73 in the third round, closed with a 67 and tied for third with Fowler.

“I know that when I do the things that I do well, this is what I’m capable of,” McIlroy said. “It’s just a matter of me getting back to playing golf and playing golf my way. That starts with being creative and being visual and maybe sort of sifting through the technical thoughts.”

“It is a big carrot,” McIlroy said of the 20 wins, which provides him lifetime security on the PGA TOUR as soon as he completes fifteen seasons in two years time. “I didn’t know it would be this week.”

The Sunday at the Ryder Cup when McIlroy dug deep to secure his only point proved to be a turning point.

“I wasn’t trying to be perfect, I wasn’t trying to hit shots that I wasn’t comfortable hitting, I just went out there to try to win my match and I did,” McIlroy said. “I think part of the emotion at the end of it was to do with that week, but it was also probably to do with the last few months in terms of searching to try to get better and the realization that I don’t need to search for anything, it’s all right here.”

 

Associated Press