May 13, 2024

When you take a step back, yeah… He’s Rory McIlroy, you know?” Xander Schauffele summed it up perfectly in the wake of the Northern Irishman’s sensational final round at Quail Hollow on Sunday to win a fourth Wells Fargo Championship.


McIlroy was in truly sublime form in Charlotte, North Carolina, rolling back the years to put on a show akin to the fearless youngster who blitzed the field to win his first PGA Tour title 14 years ago. When the Northern Irishman is on a roll like this, only the imperious Scottie Scheffler is on the same plane.


McIlroy was eight-under-par through an eight-hole stretch either side of the turn on Sunday as he transformed a two-shot deficit into an unassailable lead in what felt like an instant. There were two eagles, four birdies and moments of golfing genius in that run, so much so that a double bogey on the 72nd was utterly inconsequential.


Schauffele had been blown away by a force of nature. And he knew it. “He hits it 350 yards in the air downwind and he has shorter clubs into firm greens than anyone else. When he’s on, he’s on. Hats off to him for winning. Yeah, he played unbelievably well.



“Overall I felt like I was doing pretty well for most of the day and then had that costly stretch and he capitalized like no other. Big reversal there.”


McIlroy started the day at 11-under, one behind wire-to-wire leader Schauffele, but he was on level terms after just one hole as McIlroy stiffed a gap wedge to gimme range to set the tone.


Yet the afternoon seemed to swing in Schauffele’s favour at the par-five seventh. Both men were on the green in two but McIlroy three-putted while the American holed his eagle try to move two clear at 13-under.


For all the latest on news, politics, sports, and showbiz from the USA, go to The Mirror US .


Rory McIlroy wins the Wells Fargo Championship

Rory McIlroy heads to Valhalla after back-to-back PGA Tour victories

Yet within three holes, McIlroy had a two-shot lead himself after going birdie-birdie-eagle, bullying a faltering Schauffele into submission. By the 12th, it was over as a contest with McIlroy four shots in the clear after Schauffele inexplicably carded a bogey five despite a scorching tee shot to the centre of the fairway leaving just 120 yards into the green.


Reflecting on a final-round 65 that saw him win by five at 17-under, McIlroy himself said the “stars are aligning” as he returns to Valhalla this week for the PGA Championship, the site of this last major championship triumph a decade ago.






As was the case then, he heads to Kentucky off the back of a big win, and his game appears in much better shape than at any point in the past few years; his driver play is as good as ever but, crucially, he has shown much-improved control with his short irons since having an MOT on his swing with the revered Butch Harmon last month.



Relaxed Rory McIlroy can make PGA Tour stars regret rejection as Valhalla return looms


Rory McIlroy makes confident PGA Championship claim as bid to end 10-year major drought looms.


The flat stick is rolling nicely for the Ulsterman, too, holing an enormous 133 feet of putts through the first 14 holes on Sunday.


McIlroy has been in this situation before, heading into a major as one of the hot favourites for victory, and many times over the past 10 years he has not quite lived up to the billing. He will not only have a weight of pressure to deal with at Valhalla but also the returning world number one Scottie Scheffler, who skipped the Wells Fargo for the birth of his first child.


“I know what I’m capable of,” McIlroy said after his third win of the season. “Whenever I fire on all cylinders, this is what I can produce. I just went through a bit of a quiet spell there for a couple of months at the start of this year, but I feel like I’m back where I need to be.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *