HAMILTON – Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy ran away from the field and set a new scoring record in the process on Sunday, firing a 9-under-par 61 to reach 22-under 258 and win by seven shots at the RBC Canadian Open in Ontario.
It was the 16th career PGA Tour win and sixth national open title for McIlroy, who made his event debut this week. The win was also his second of 2019 — he captured The Players Championship in March. McIlroy bested the previous Canadian Open scoring record by five shots. The previous record of 263 was set by Johnny Palmer in 1952 and matched most recently in 2014 by Tim Clark.
“Just awesome,” McIlroy told CBS Sports following his win. “I said it from the start I wanted to be aggressive, you know I played with so much freedom yesterday and I just wanted to keep that going today.
“Tied for the lead going out and playing with that freedom, it gives me so much confidence. Obviously, this is a huge tournament to win. I’m very proud of myself but going forward for this season to play the way I did in a final round like this, I’m going to take a lot from this and I’m excited for next week.”
McIlroy got off to a hot start by making birdie on five of his first seven holes. He made the turn at 5 under before reeling off four straight birdies on holes 11-14. His first hiccup of the day came with a bogey on the par-3 16th hole, but he rebounded with an eagle 3 on 17 and finished with a bogey at 18.
Webb Simpson and Ireland’s Shane Lowry finished tied for second at 15 under. Simpson, who played the first 54 holes without a bogey, finally bobbled at the third but made five birdies over the rest of his round including a chip-in at the 18th and finished with a 68. Lowry, who started the day one shot behind the leaders, carded four birdies and one bogey for a final-round 67.
“Today was a struggle. Just wasn’t quite sharp off the tee,” said Simpson, the 33-year-old North Carolina native whose last win came in 2018 at The Players Championship. “This golf course, I been hitting the fairway and this golf course is tough when you’re not hitting the fairway. But it was nice to finish with a few birdies coming in.