McIlroy hits FedEx Cup $15 million jackpot

Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland celebrates with the FedExCup trophy on August 25, 2019. (AFP)
Updated 26 August 2019

McIlroy hits FedEx Cup $15 million jackpot

  • It will boost Mcllroy to No. 2 in the world behind Koepka

ATLANTA, GEORGIA: The crowd rushing to circle the 18th green. The steady chants. It all sounded so familiar to Rory McIlroy at East Lake, with one big difference.

On Sunday, it was all for him.

One year after he was an overlooked bystander as Tiger Woods celebrated the missing piece of his comeback by winning the Tour Championship, McIlroy surged past Brooks Koepka and delivered a clutch par putt when he needed it to win the FedEx Cup and the $15 million prize, the biggest payout in golf history.

“It’s amazing how different things can be in a year,” McIlroy said.

With two final birdies, McIlroy closed with a 4-under 66 to end a marathon day at the storm-delayed Tour Championship and finished four shots ahead of Xander Schauffele. He joined Woods as the only players to win the FedEx Cup twice since it began in 2007.

He smiled at hearing the chants, “Rory! Rory! Rory!” from a gallery that came under the ropes on the 18th hole to watch the finish.

“I must say, I didn’t enjoy that walk last year like everyone else did,” McIlroy said. “I never took the fight to Tiger.”

McIlroy had more than the $15 million prize on his mind.

He wanted to win this outright and was keeping score to the very end. The format was changed this year to give top players a head start based on par depending on their standing in the FedEx Cup. Justin Thomas was the No. 1 seed and started at 10-under par before a shot was hit. McIlroy was the No. 5 seed and started at 5 under.

He finished at 18 under in the FedEx Cup finale. His actual score was 13-under 267, better than anyone else in the 30-man field.

It will boost him to No. 2 in the world behind Koepka.

There also was a small matter of payback. McIlroy had a one-shot lead over Koepka in a World Golf Championships event last month in Tennessee but made only one birdie in the final round as Koepka blew past him to win.

They were in the final group Sunday at East Lake, and McIlroy got the best of the No. 1 player.

The final round turned on the seventh hole with a three-shot swing — McIlroy made a 25-foot birdie, while Koepka lost his tee shot in the trees and made double bogey. There were consecutive two-shot swings on the back nine, and then it was a matter of holding off Schauffele.

McIlroy was four shots ahead until back-to-back bogeys, and he was on the verge of watching his lead shrink to one when he holed an 8-foot par putt on the 16th. Schauffele had to settle for pars, and McIlroy finished with a flourish.

He was the only player to break par all four days.

Schauffele closed with a 70 to finish alone in second, which paid out $5 million.

Thomas lost his way Sunday morning in the conclusion of the third round when he took triple bogey on the 16th hole to fall four behind. He finished with two birdies and a 68 and tied for third with Koepka, who ended another big year with a pedestrian finish of 72.

They each earned $3.5 million.

Paul Casey shot 72 to finish fifth and earned $2.5 million.

What looked to be a shootout turned into a runaway for McIlroy.

The marathon final day — 31 holes for McIlroy and contenders — began with big promise for a wild chase for the $15 million prize. Four players took turns atop the leaderboard in the first 35 minutes of golf Sunday morning, which included Schauffele’s first hole-in-one of his career with a 5-iron on the 240-yard ninth hole.

The third round had been suspended Saturday after lightning struck a tree and injured six spectators huddled nearby. Police said they were treated and released from medical attention later that night.

Koepka birdied the 18th for a one-shot lead over McIlroy and Schauffele. It was tight for the first hour of the final round, and then it turned quickly.

Koepka was still up by one shot when he yanked his tee shot into the trees left of No. 7 and never found it. He made double bogey, and it became a three-shot swing when McIlroy made a 25-foot birdie putt.


Treble-chasing Bayern to hunt their 2nd title this season on Saturday

Updated 04 July 2020

Treble-chasing Bayern to hunt their 2nd title this season on Saturday

  • Due to COVID-19 pandemic, only 700 fans will be allowed into the stadium for the final game

BERLIN: Treble-chasing Bayern Munich are hunting their second title this season in Saturday’s German Cup final, a behind-closed-doors showdown that should have been an “absolute highlight” for success-starved Bayer Leverkusen fans.

Normally, the end-of-season showpiece final at Berlin’s iconic Olympic Stadium would be a festive affair in front of a packed house of 75,000 supporters.

However, due to the coronavirus pandemic just 700 will be allowed into the enormous stadium for this year’s final, including both teams, their backroom staff and officials.

Germany head coach Joachim Loew is one of the few invited guests.

After the final whistle, when German FA president Fritz Keller hands over the trophy, only the cheers of the winning team will echo around the cavernous stadium.

Former Bayern president Uli Hoeness finds it “a pity” that no fans will be present for the Berlin spectacle, while Leverkusen sports director Rudi Voeller feels the same before his club’s first cup final since 2009.

“For our fans, this would have been an absolute highlight after many years,” said former Germany midfielder Voeller.  “To play in this giant cauldron in front of just a few spectators is quite sad.”

Nevertheless, holders Bayern are determined to defend the cup, even if head coach Hansi Flick admits that without traveling support, their fans will be “very, very absent.”

Having lifted the Bundesliga trophy last Saturday for the eighth straight year, Bayern are targeting the next piece of silverware in their treble bid before tackling the Champions League in August.

“The boys are up for it and want to win the next title, we will do everything we can to achieve that,” said Bayern sports director Hasan Salihamidzic.

“We are very optimistic that we will come out as winners.”

 

Sane joins Bayern

Separately, Leroy Sane has targeted Champions League glory with Bayern Munich after joining the Bundesliga giants from Manchester City for a fee of around €50 million ($56 million) on Friday.

The Germany winger has returned to his home country on a 5-year contract after receiving the blessing of City coach Pep Guardiola.

“Bayern is a very big club and has big goals — these goals suit me as well,” said the 24-year-old Sane.

“I want to win as many titles as possible with Bayern, and the Champions League is at the top.”

The Bundesliga champions did not give the transfer fee, but Sky Sports and the BBC have reported that Bayern and City agreed a fee of €60.8 million. 

 

 

German daily Bild claim the fee is around
€50 million.

BERLIN: