RIDGELAND, S.C. — The last steps Rory McIlroyThe long road to No. 1 went down on the scorecard, which made him giggle. Sunday was all that mattered to him, winning the CJ Cup South Carolina. That made him almost cry.
McIlroy reclaimed No. McIlroy reclaimed the No. 1 ranking by holding on for the ninth consecutive time Kurt KitayamaHe was nervous at the end, but he won with a three-putt birdie. This gave him a 4-under-67 score and a 1-shot win.
He was not only ranked, but it was also realizing how far his support had brought him that made his voice a little choke with emotion.
McIlroy stated that this tournament last year was my start in trying to rebuild myself up to this point. I had a really rough Ryder Cup. I think I was outside of the top 10 in the world — it isnt a position Im used too being in.
McIlroy lost the Ryder Cup to McIlroy 1-3. McIlroy was out of the top 10 for 15 consecutive week, the longest stretch in his career since he reached No. 1 a decade ago. That made him feel more behind than he really was, especially for a player his caliber.
He stated, I believe just the steady climb back to the summit of golf world and what it takes. And its more than me, it is everyone whos a member of my team. I think about everyone who has made a difference in me, not just over the past 12 months but for all of my life.
It was McIlroy-style inside the ropes.
With five holes remaining at Congaree and Kitayama tied, McIlroy made three straight birdies to take control. McIlroys pivotal run began with a 5-iron that went 227 yards to 15 foot on the par-3 14th. This was only the fifth birdie of the hole in the final round.
McIlroy stated that McIlroy believed that McIlroys birdie at 14 was the difference. The 15th hole was McIlroys key moment. He got up-and down for birdie on the 348-yard hole and Kitayama triple-putted for par at 40 feet.
McIlroy then followed McIlroy with a 20-foot birdie on the 16th.
McIlroy won the 23rd PGA Tour title and the 31st overall.
This felt like it had been a long time coming.
For the second consecutive year, he won the CJ Cup. McIlroy, who was No.1 in South Korea, won the CJ Cup last year in Las Vegas. 14 in the world.
So began his climb back up to No. With victories at the Canadian Open and Tour Championship, he was able to win the FedEx Cup. Scottie SchefflerHis exhausting stretch through the Masters is over.
McIlroy stated that McIlroy has worked hard over the past 12 month to get back to where he is now. I feel like the game is more enjoyable than ever. I was filled with joy, and its certainly shown in the last few weeks.
Its an amazing achievement. Im very proud of myself right now.
McIlroy was No. McIlroy was No. 1 when golf was shut down for three months due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He lost the ranking to Jon RahmThe Memorial was won by the Spaniard in mid-July 2020.
Scheffler placed in the middle pack at Congaree. McIlroy could be runner-up, but Scheffler still retained the No. 1 ranking. He wanted the trophy and it was more work than he expected.
McIlroy had a 1-shot lead going into round three and never trailed. But he wasnt having it easy until he walked towards the 18th green. Even that made him sweat. He held a 2-shot lead, and shot his 40-foot putt just 8 feet away. Kitayama had a 20 footer for birdie. Both missed.
After winning the Spanish Open, Rahm tied McIlroy three times early, while playing in the same group as him. Rahm was still alive when his tee shot on 14th par-3 caught a bunker lie, resulting in bogey.
He finished fourth with 69.
Kitayama, who was three times a winner in Asia and Europe, was the real threat. The 29-year-old Californian was able to overcome a 2-shot deficit and tied for the lead. McIlroy, who made big putts, took over and couldnt answer.
Kitayama finished the PGA Tours third runner-up with a 67, his third since joining the Tour last year, just behind McIlroy. Xander SchauffeleHe was born in Scotland and Rahm in Mexico. He earned $1,134,000.
Kitayama stated, Thats a tough team of guys to beat. I just have the will to keep improving.
McIlroy has won three times this year. He also finished with a 62 at the Canadian Open to win last. Tony FinauAnd Justin Thomas, a 66 at the Tour Championship to beat Scheffler, and a Congaree 67 with two closing bogeys. It was enough to celebrate two major moments.
Another trophy, and finally, another trip up the ranks of golf.