Rory McIlroy played the last 50 holes of the Tour Championship 15 under par with $11.5 million on the line and one of the few titles that has eluded him just outside his grasp. He holed out on the 16th hole for eagle, birdies No. 18, shoots a 30 on the back nine with the season at stake and takes down two Americans in a four-hole playoff, swiping a $10 million bonus check from another one.
Everybody did miss on Sunday at East Lake as McIlroy took home his first Tour Championship and FedEx Cup trophy with a 64 in his final round to get into that sudden death playoff with Kevin Chappell and Ryan Moore. Johnson missed badly by shooting a 3-over 73 to put himself in a precarious position where either Chappell or Moore had to win the playoff for Johnson to win the FedEx Cup and a cool $10 million.
Chappell missed on the first playoff hole with a par after Moore and McIlroy made birdie.
After pumping one 357 yards off the tee, McIlroy had 211 to the pin. He thumped it in a way that once made Geoff Ogilvy say Rory was even more pure than Tiger himself.
Two straight pars were made by Moore and McIlroy after Chappell was eliminated and while Johnson held onto his kid in the clubhouse as he waited to learn his fate. Would he make $10 million for winning the FedEx Cup (if Moore won the Tour Championship playoff) or $3 million for finishing second (if McIlroy took it).
McIlroy blistered his drive on the fourth playoff hole, No. 16, which is where some two hours earlier his final kick had begun with a hole-out eagle from 137 yards away. His ball waved at Moore's on its way to the green.
Moore hit a broke second shot, chipped off the putting surface (badly) and left himself nearly 20 feet for par. He buried it because why not. That meant McIlroy would need to make his 15-footer for the win. For $11.5 million. He'd already missed a seven-footer and a 17-footer for that same amount.
A 15-footer would be the longest made putt for McIlroy on the week.
Then he did that thing we have seen so often from the most talented player in the world. He took the moment in his hands and shaped it into what he wanted you to remember. He owned it.
"It was incredible," McIlroy told NBC.
>>Arnold Palmer Dies Sunday At 87
Arnold Palmer has passed away at the age of 87.
He passed Sunday at a Pittsburgh hospital, three days after being admitted and one day before he was scheduled to have heart surgery, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Palmer won 62 times on the PGA Tour, capturing four Masters as part of the seven major championships he conquered over his illustrious career. He had been in declining health for a few years and even missed out on the ceremonial first tee shot at Augusta earlier in 2016.
Palmer is one of the greatests the sport has ever seen and will forever be adored by millions of sports fans.
He accomplished so much it is hard to even know where to begin. The best place to start might be the 1958 Masters where Palmer made birdie at the final hole to secure his first major championship. There was a much controversy in that year's tournament after Palmer played two balls on the 12th hole in the final round after his first one embedded.
The legend grew in 1960 when Palmer took the Masters and the U.S. Open. That was the year "Arnie's Army," his die-hard base of fans, was born. The most famous tournament Palmer ever played was that year's U.S. Open at Cherry Hills. It turned out to be a classic between him and an amateur who was unknown at the time. The golf world would soon get to know that amateur as well. You know him as Jack Nicklaus.
Palmer trailed by seven strokes going into the final 18 holes. Then he made magic with a 30 on the front and 65 overall to beat Nicklaus by two.