16 July 2023
Rory McIlroy birdied the final two holes to lift the Genesis Scottish Open at the Renaissance Club, beating Scotland’s Robert MacIntyre by 1 stroke to finish on -15.
MacIntyre produced arguably the shot of the tournament, if not the season on the 18th, leaving himself a tap in for birdie to hold the clubhouse lead. A quite simply breathtaking strike, in the rough from 213 yards into the strong 25-30mph head wind was met with rapturous applause and cheers from the grandstands.
His round of 64 (-6) in the difficult windy conditions, was simply sensational, winning plaudits from Rory, pundits & fans alike.
McIlroy however would produce a sensational tee shot at 17 to leave a guaranteed birdie on the Par 3.
A textbook drive down 18 left the 4 time Major winner with 202 yards to the pin, where he produced what he described post-round as “being probably one of the best shots of my career” – a stinging 2-iron into the heart of the green to leave a downhill putt.
He tapped in from 10ft to become the first man to win the Scottish Open, Irish Open & The Open Championship.
McIlroy had started the day with solo hold of the lead on -13, one shot clear of Korea’s Tom Kim, who joined McIlroy and Tommy Fleetwood in the final group.
MacIntyre began the day on -8 but started to make a charge through the field. A couple of early birdies combined with an eagle at the Par 5 10th putting him in the mix.
Birdies at 14 and 15 soon followed and gave the Oban man a two shot lead but McIlroy would fight back with a superb birdie at the Par 3 14th to close the gap and mount his challenge.
MacIntyre would bogey the Par 5 16th, with McIlroy making par and setting up the grandstand finish and securing the two birdies he needed on the 71st & 72nd holes to take the title.
Earlier in the day at the Par 4 7th, McIlroy had the longest drive of the tournament, reaching 427 yards (the longest drive of his career), whilst finishing first overall for Strokes Gained: off-the-tee and driving distance.
The Northern Irishman also moves up the World Rankings to #2 and is sure to be one of the favourites for the Open Championship at Royal Liverpool next week, where he won the Claret Jug in 2014.
For Scotland’s MacIntyre, he moves up to 3rd in the overall points list for this year’s Ryder Cup in Rome, where he won the Italian Open in September last year.
All eyes now turn to Royal Liverpool, for the 151st edition of The Open Championship.
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