Rory McIlroy who was about to take the rest of 2021 off, came back and won the CJ Cup in Las Vegas on Sunday for his 20th PGA title.

It was his first tournament since his 19-9 loss to the United States at Whistling Straits in September.

McIlroy carded a final-round six-under-par 66 to finish 25 under, securing a one-shot victory and becoming the 39th player to win 20 PGA Tour titles.

He trailed by nine shots after 36 holes but hit a superb 62 on Saturday to storm into contention.

Sunday’s final round saw McIlroy shoot a three-under 33 on his front nine to stay in the hunt, and after a birdie at the par-four 12th, he holed a 34-foot putt from off the front of the green to eagle the par-five 14th and move three clear.

Morikawa picked up birdies on eight of his first 11 holes and closed with an eagle to move to within one with his lowest PGA Tour round.

However, McIlroy parred his final four holes to secure a one-shot win at the Summit Club.

McIlroy said, “On the Saturday night of the Ryder Cup, I was done with golf. I didn’t want to see golf again until 2022.”

He said, “Sunday night at the Ryder Cup I thought ‘Go to Vegas, go to CJ and try to build on this little bit of a breakthrough that I’ve had.”

That breakthrough at Whistling Straits was McIlroy’s consolation singles win over Xander Schauffele when the US had already all but secured victory.

It was his only point in four Ryder Cup matches that weekend and he became tearful during interviews after his singles match, saying he “should’ve done more” for his team.

However, McIlroy come back with a victory that propelled him up to 8th in the world and provided a thrilling reminder of the immense talent that has helped lift him to four major titles.

Mcllroy, when asked if his poor Ryder Cup performance motivated him, answered, “It was huge, it really was, I was really disappointed with how I played.”

He added, “There was a lot of reflection [in] a couple of weeks [since then]. This is what I need to do. I need to play golf, simplify it and just be me. I think for the last few months I was trying to be someone else to try to get better but realized that being me is enough and being me, I can do things like this.”

Talking about his motivation the champion said, “I didn’t know if it was going to be this week, but I knew if I just kept my head down and kept playing well and kept doing the right things that eventually I’d get there. To get a win, it’s great, it feels really good.”

He added, “I played really well this week, highlighted by the 10-under yesterday [on Saturday], but to follow that up with a really solid round today. I just played really solid golf, just kept giving myself birdie looks and thankfully made enough of them to get the job done.”


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