McIlroy threatens 59, wins Canadian Open by seven shots

Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy watches his drive off the second tee during the 2019 Master golf tournament at Augusta National Golf Club, Georgia. (Reuters pic)

CARY: Rory McIlroy threatened to shoot 59 as he made his Canadian Open debut a great one, clinching a massive seven-stroke victory in Ontario on Sunday.

Needing to birdie the par-four 18th to card golf’s magic number, the Northern Irishman pushed his approach into a bunker at Hamilton Golf & Country Club and made a bogey.

Nevertheless, McIlroy carded a stellar nine-under-par 61 in a near-perfect confidence-booster ahead of next week’s US Open at Pebble Beach.

“Obviously this is a huge tournament to win, I’m very proud of myself, but going forward for this season, to play the way I did in a final round like this, I’m going to take a lot from this and I’m excited for next week,” McIlroy told CBS television in a greenside interview as the huge crowd chanted his name.

“I said from the start I wanted to be aggressive. I played with so much freedom yesterday and I just wanted to keep that going today. Tied for the lead going out and playing with that freedom, it gives me so much confidence.”

McIlroy finished at 22-under 258, while Irishman Shane Lowry (67) and American Webb Simpson (68) tied for second place on 15-under.