Rory McIlroy won the RBC Canadian Open on Sunday and gave the PGA Tour a strong response to the start of the Saudi-funded LIV Golf Invitational, closing with an 8-under 62 to win a wild race to the finish with Justin Thomas and Tony Finau.
McIlroy had his first title defense on the PGA Tour, even if he had to wait for it. He won golf’s fourth-oldest national open in 2019 at Hamilton Golf & Country Club, only for the the COVID-19 pandemic to cancel the next two editions.
Thomas pushed him to the end at St. George’s Golf & Country Club, and the tournament effectively ended on the 17th hole. McIlroy and Thomas were tied and in the rough. McIlroy hit a wedge that rolled out to tap-in range, while Thomas missed a 10-foot par putt, a two-shot swing. Thomas closed with a pair of bogeys and still shot 64.
McIlroy finished at 19-under 261 for a two-stroke victory.
Finau holed a 40-foot birdie putt on the 18th for a 64 to finish second alone.
Thomas was third at 14 under. Justin Rose matched the tournament- and course-record with a 60 — with three eagles and three bogeys — to tie for fourth with Sam Burns (65) at 14 under.
McIlroy has been one of the strongest opponents of the LIV Golf series and spoke out against the money being paid to players like Phil Mickelson and Dustin Johnson. Greg Norman, who runs the LIV Golf, said in a story in the Washington Post that McIlroy had been “brainwashed” by the PGA Tour.
McIlroy won for the second time this season and 21st on the PGA Tour.
Rose was 11 under with three holes to play. He bogeyed the 16th, hit to 2 feet on 17 for birdie, then went over the green on 18 and missed an 18-foot par putt. Carl Pettersson also shot 60 at St. George’s in his 2010 victory.
GALLOWAY TOWNSHIP, N.J. (AP) — Brooke Henderson eagled the first hole of a playoff with Lindsey Weaver-Wright to win the ShopRite LPGA Classic for her 11th tour title.
Henderson closed with a bogey-free 7-under 64 at Seaview Hotel and Golf Club to win for the first time in a year. The 24-year-old Canadian overcame a four-shot deficit in the final round, finishing at 12-under 201.
Weaver-Wright, a 28-year-old American still looking for her first tour win, forced the playoff with birdies on four of the last six holes, including a long one at No. 17 and a 10-footer at the par-5 final hole for a 65.
Jodi Eward Shadoff was a stroke back after a 67.
PGA TOUR CHAMPIONS
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Thongchai Jaidee became the first Thai winner in PGA Tour Champions history, closing with a 4-under 68 for a one-stroke victory in the American Family Insurance Championship.
A week after playing his way into the event with a 10th-place finish in Iowa, the 52-year-old Thongchai won in his 19th start on the 50-and-over tour.
Thongchai rebounded from a bogey on the par-5 16th with a birdie on the par-3 17th and closed with a par. He finished at 14-under 202 at University Ridge.
Tom Pernice Jr. was second after a 66.
EUROPEAN TOUR/LADIES EUROPEAN TOUR
TYLOSAND, Sweden (AP) — Linn Grant became the first female winner on the European tour, running away with the Scandinavian Mixed by nine strokes.
The 22-year-old Swede closed with an 8-under 64 at Halmstad Golf Club, playing from shorter tees than the men. She finished at 24-under 264.
Henrik Stenson, who hosted the event with Annika Sorenstam, shot a 70 to tie for second place with Marc Warren (65).
KORN FERRY TOUR
GREER, S.C. (AP) — Robby Shelton parred the second hold of a playoff with Ben Griffin in the BMW Charity Pro-Am for his third career Korn Ferry Tour title.
After shooting a 10-under 61 on Saturday to open a five-stroke lead, Shelton closed with a 71 to match Griffin (66) at 22-under 263.
Rose Zhang set the tone and the Americans won seven of eight singles matches for a 15 1/2-4 1/2 victory over Great Britain & Ireland in the Curtis Cup at Merion in Ardmore, Pennsylvania. The Americans lead 31-8-3 and won the amateur matches for the third straight time. … Nineteen-year-old Lucy Li won for the first time as a pro in a battle of prodigies, closing with a 2-under 69 and beating 17-year-old Alexa Pano in a playoff to capture the Carolina Golf Classic on the Epson Tour. … Tomoyo Ikemura finished off a wire-to-wire victory with a 4-under 68 and a one-shot vicory over Ryo Hisatsune and Brad Kennedy in the Aso Iizuka Challenge on the Japan Golf Tour. … Liam Johnston of Scotland closed with a 3-under 67 for a two-shot victory over Todd Clements in the Emporda Challenge on the European Challenge Tour. … Dylan Mostert had a 4-under 68 and won the KitKat Group Pro-Am by three shots over M.J. Viljoen on the Sunshine Tour in South Africa. … Tommy Cocha and Isidro Benitez each closed with a 5-under 65, and Cocha made birdie on the 18th hole in a playoff to win the Bucaramanga Championship in Colombia on the PGA Tour Latinoamerica. … Miyuu Yamashita closed with a 4-under 68 and rallied from a four-shot deficit against Saiki Fujita to win the Ai Miyazato Suntory Ladies Open on the Japan LPGA. … Min Ji Park successfully defended her title with a 2-under 70 and a three-shot victory over Minju Kim in the Celtrion Queens Masters on the Korean LPGA. … Richard Green of Australia closed with 1-under 71 and made par on the third playoff hole to beat Paul Lawrie in the Jersey Legends on the European tour’s senior circuit.