2022 RBC Canadian Open leaderboard, grades: Rory McIlroy repeats as champion for 21st career PGA Tour win
McIlroy came through with a thrilling victory on Sunday to repeat as Canadian Open champion
Rory McIlroy and Justin Thomas put on an absolute show during a week when the PGA Tour desperately needed it at the 2022 RBC Canadian Open. McIlroy shot 62 to finish at 19 under, defeating Tony Finau by two strokes and Justin Thomas by three. It's his second consecutive win at the Canadian Open and the 21st win of his extraordinary PGA Tour career.
McIlroy, who played with Thomas and Finau in the final threesome, came out of the gates completely on fire. He made five birdies on the front and shot 29 on that side before making birdie at his first three on the back nine to completely take hold of the tournament. Though he started to fade a bit, he stuck his last two approaches -- one 2 feet and the other to 4 feet -- and made both of them for the 62.
It was representative of a day in which McIlroy had the wedges cranking. He hit seven approaches (all from over 100 yards) inside 5 feet and lost strokes putting on a day in which he he shot 62. Think about that -- he was worse than the field average with his putter and put a 62 on the card!
Somehow, the post-round interview from his 21st PGA Tour win was even better than the win itself.
The finale in Canada was a resounding answer to this week's LIV Golf debut event in London, which garnered momentum and handed out $25 million to its 48-player field on Saturday after the first of eight 54-hole events. LIV Golf is a rival to the PGA Tour and one that has a lot of folks concerned. LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman boasted on Saturday, "We're not going anywhere."
McIlroy, who has been outspoken about not going to LIV Golf and has concerns about how it's being funded (essentially by the financial arm of the Saudi Arabian government), took a dig at Norman on Sunday after his win.
"It's incredible," McIlroy told CBS Sports. "This is a day I'll remember for a long, long time." He also noted that he now has 21 PGA Tour wins, which is "one more than someone else."
Norman, it should be noted, has 20 PGA Tour wins.
Add it all up, and it's one of the more remarkable weeks in recent PGA Tour history (and we haven't even talked about the fact that there's a major championship week that starts on Monday!).
Nobody knows how the next few years are going to go or who's going to win the tussle for regular season supremacy between LIV Golf and the PGA Tour. Those organizations will be embroiled in that battle for a long time. However, clarity has been provided by how this week went. McIlroy again disclosed himself as the soul of professional golf just one day after LIV Golf proved it doesn't even have one. Grade: A+
Here are the rest of our grades for the Canadian Open.
2. Tony Finau (-17): The worst score in the final group on Sunday was 64. The worst score. Finau and Thomas both shot that number to McIlroy's 62, and Finau made a monster putt at the last to do so. It's a nice finish for him and arguably his best performance of the year heading into a major week. Finau gained 4.6 strokes per day, which is normally enough to win a regular PGA Tour event. Unfortunately for him, McIlroy gained over five. Grade: A
3. Justin Thomas (-15): It was much of the same for J.T. as it was for Finau. The PGA Championship winner gained over four strokes per round on the week and finished five shots ahead of the T7s, and it felt like he never really had a chance on Sunday. Still, he'll go to The Country Club next week looking for his second straight major, and I'm not sure his confidence has ever been higher. One reason why: He's been positive strokes gained putting in five of his last six tournaments. Grade: A
T4. Justin Rose (-14): It seems odd to be disappointed with a 60, but Rose did something nobody in the last 30 years had done. He hit his approach long and made bogey at the final hole when par would have been good enough to shoot 59.
"I'm totally disappointed," said Rose. "Because you know what's at stake, for sure. You're really just playing the last hole -- I never shot 59 before -- so it would have been a lovely footnote on the week. I don't know how much was in my control or not, but ... we were right in between two clubs and I went the wrong way on a decision and paid the price for it. So those are the things that do happen and it's amazing how those situations present themselves right at the end. It was tricky, but all in all there's tons to take out of this week." Grade: A
T18. Scottie Scheffler (-7): The Masters champion had one bad day (he shot 1 over on Saturday and faded hard going into the last day). Like J.T., there are still positives to take away. He finished top 15 from tee to green and in driving distance, both of which will be massive next week as he tries for his second major of both the season and his career. He's been quietly great at U.S. Opens recently, and if you believe his play in his last two events (Charles Schwab Challenge and this Canadian Open) is a good indicator, then he should be among the favorites at Brookline. Grade: B
Unreal wedge from Rory on No. 17 to go back up one going to the final hole (if he makes it).
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