McIlroy wins CJ Cup in first start after Ryder Cup

Rory McIlroy playing a practice round ahead of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open at Mount Juliet Golf Club. Credit: Warren Little/Getty Images.

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Rory McIlroy picked up his first trophy of this season’s PGA Tour and the second of the calendar year in his first tournament since the Ryder Cup when he won the CJ Cup on Sunday night.

McIlroy sealed his 20th PGA Tour win, which granted him lifetime membership with a one-shot win over Collin Morikawa after a strong final two days at The Summit Club in Las Vegas.

The Northern Irish golfer was nine shots off the lead heading into the weekend but a 10-under 62 on Saturday brought him into the race ahead of the final day and a score of 66 saw him beat out the challengers.

Rickie Fowler was the leader heading into Sunday and was paired with McIlroy for the day but missed several important putts and was eclipsed by McIlroy and Morikawa, tied with Keith Mitchell for third.

McIlroy built upon his Sunday form at the Ryder Cup where he won his singles match to salvage an otherwise poor tournament individually.

The competition veteran had lost all three of his matches in the first two days and the one point he scored was the lowest total he had managed at a single Ryder Cup.

“It was huge. It really was. I was really disappointed with how I played [at the Ryder Cup],” he said in his greenside interview with PGA Tour.

“There was a lot of reflection in the last couple of weeks. This is what I need to do. I need to play golf, I need to simplify it. I need to just be me. I think for the last few months I was maybe trying to be someone else to try and get better.

“I realised that being me is enough, and being me I can do things like this.”

The 32-year-old becomes the 39th player to win 20 events on the tour and has won the same amount of events on the calendar as Phil Mickelson did at his age, excluding majors.

It’s the fifth season in a row that the golfer from Down has won an event and the seventh time he has won at least twice in a calendar year.

McIlroy’s lifetime membership will begin after he completes 15 years as a Tour member – his first Tour was in 2010.

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