Rory McIlroy edges out Robert MacIntyre to clinch dramatic Scottish Open victory
Rory McIlroy produced a stunning finish to deny home favourite Robert MacIntyre the biggest win of his career in amazing fashion in the £7million Genesis Scottish Open.
MacIntyre had set a daunting target of 14 under par thanks to a sensational birdie on the 18th, just the second of the day on the closing hole as winds gusting up to 40mph made for testing scoring conditions.
However, overnight leader McIlroy birdied the par-three 17th to get on level terms and then hit a stunning 2-iron approach into the last before holing from 10 feet to secure his second Rolex Series title of the year.
“I’m really proud,” said McIlroy, who will head to next week’s Open Championship at Royal Liverpool, scene of his 2014 triumph, on the back of his first win on Scottish soil.
“That was such a tough day, especially the back nine. To play that in four under par to win the tournament I’m really proud of how I stuck in there, hit some amazing shots down the stretch and was able to finish it off.
“It feels incredible. It’s been a sort of long six months I feel since I won in Dubai. I’ve given myself tonnes of chances and hopefully this win sort of breaks the seal for me, especially going in to next week as well.”
MacIntyre had been fortunate to find the spectator walkway following a wild drive on the 18th, but took full advantage by hitting a stunning approach with a fairway wood to within four feet of the hole.
The left-hander began the final round five shots behind McIlroy, but made good on his promise to relish “absolutely brutal” weather as he followed birdies on the third and sixth with an eagle on the par-five 10th.
A birdie on the 14th moved MacIntyre into the outright lead for the first time and he immediately doubled his advantage after a stunning approach to the next finished inches from the hole.
McIlroy kept himself in contention with a birdie on the 11th and a vital par save on the 12th, the world number three thinking his putt had missed before it caught the edge of the hole and dropped.
And, after MacIntyre bogeyed the par-five 16th, McIlroy holed from almost 40 feet on the 14th to share the lead.
MacIntyre’s amazing birdie on the 18th completed a stunning 64 and edged him back in front, but, after missing from eight feet on the par-five 16th, McIlroy conjured up a magical finish to seal a brilliant fightback.
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