Rory McIlroy captured the Arnold Palmer Invitational Sunday, it was his first victory since he captured the Tour Championship and the FedEx Cup on Sept. 25, 2016.
McIlroy’s triumph was lost amid the news of Palmer’s passing on the same day.
McIlroy made a spectacular charge that day late to come from behind and beat Kevin Chappell and eventually Ryan Moore in the fourth hole of a playoff to capture the Tour Championship and the FedEx Cup.
McIlroy shot a 6-under 64 to catch Chappell and Moore in the final and a birdie at 18 snuck him into the playoff.
At the playoff, Chappell hit his tee shot way left into the trees. Moore also missed the fairway to the left, giving the advantage to McIlroy who hit a booming drive that left him with a huge advantage.
McIlroy, from 213 yards, stuck his second shot to about six feet. Chappell and Moore both had to lay up.
Chappell ended up making par at the playoff. Moore made a 12-foot putt for birdie. McIlroy also made birdie taking the playoff back to the 18th tee.
And then the 15th tee. And then back to the 16th tee, where McIlroy’s late charge began nearly two hours earlier.
During regulation McIlroy’s charge was aided by a hole out from 137 yards at the 16th that got him to 11 under and within one of Chappell at the time. But Chappell responded in kind with a birdie of his own at 16.
McIlroy, needing a birdie at 18, went for the green in two at the par-5, but ended up in a greenside bunker. His ensuing shot looked like it had a chance to go in, but slid by the cup, leaving him a tap in.
The second time around at 16, McIlroy knocked his approach to about 15 feet, with Moore about 60 feet from the pin. Moore ended up making par, leaving McIlroy center stage as he drained his birdie putt for the victory to steal the FedEx Cup from Dustin Johnson.
Johnson, who entered the final sharing the lead with Chappell, stumbled in his final round. Johnson made three bogeys on the front nine and a double on the back nine on his way to a 3-over 73. Despite his struggles on the final day, Johnson would have won the FedEx Cup had either Moore or Chappell won.