Published: Mon, June 10, 2019
Sport | By Wilson Duncan

Rory McIlroy shoots 61 to win Canadian Open ahead of US Open

Rory McIlroy shoots 61 to win Canadian Open ahead of US Open

'That confidence just came from my range sessions last weekend (after missing the cut at Muirfield Village) going into this week and the shots I was hitting on the course. Lee Trevino (1971) and Tiger Woods (2000) are the only players to win all three in the same season, something McIlroy could do this year with victories next week at Pebble Beach and at Royal Portrush in July. "So for me to put my name on this is something special". "I think what they've been able to do here is like right on the limit of fun but still in keeping with the traditions of the game, so I think it's been awesome". A victory would be his fifth in a national open, following the US Open (2011), Australian Open (2013), British Open (2014) and Irish Open (2016). He missed the ensuing par putt to "settle" for 61 and a seven-shot win.

McIlroy pulled away from the field with a 9-under 61 in the final round of Canada's national championship. "I was thinking about shooting 59", he added. He made four straight birdies from Nos.

"Some of the greats of the game have won this trophy".

"Obviously, the chase for the Open Championship at Portrush and getting my spot for that, it's really been a journey since Bay Hill this year, the first tournament that had some sports [available] for the Open Championship".

His eagle on the par-five 17 started with a 341-yard drive off the tee to the centre of the fairway.

Simpson (68) fell into a tie for second with Shane Lowry (67).

He needed to finish in the top 10 and drained his monster par putt at the 18th to do just that, finishing alongside Danny Willett and Henrik Stenson on 10 under par.

"I chipped it 30 feet by the hole but I liked the look of the putt and it was nice to see it go in".

This year's Open will be the first in Northern Ireland since its only previous visit to Royal Portrush in 1951.

Needing to finish in the top 10 and as one of the top three unqualified players, G Mac carded a steady two under par round that only deviated from a string of pars for back-to-back birdies on 12 and 13 that kickstarted his Open bid.

"It's like chasing a ghost out there when you're trying to play for these spots because you don't know whether fifth is going to be enough and you're thinking 10th might be enough", McDowell said.

McDowell came in to this week knowing that a top-10 finish would likely get him the coveted spot, but mentally he admitted it was a much more hard challenge than his usual Thursday-Sunday battles. I think something like this is always around the corner and something like what happened last week, a missed cut, is always around the corner, too.

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