Rory McIlroy and Justin Thomas made an absolute show during a week when the PGA Tour desperately needed him at the 2022 RBC Canadian Open. McIlroy shot 62 to finish 19th under zero, defeating Tony Fino by two strokes and Justin Thomas by three. It is his second consecutive win at the Canadian Open and the 21st win in an extraordinary career on the PGA Tour.
McIlroy, who played with Thomas and Fino in the final three-setter, walked out of the gates in full flame. He made five birdies up front and shot 29 that side before making a birdie on his first three on his back nine to completely rule the championship. Although it was starting to fade a bit, he stuck it out two more ways—one to 2 feet and one to 4 feet—and made both for the 62.
It marked the day McIlroy was spinning pegs. He hit seven ways (all from over 100 yards) within 5 feet and lost two strokes the day he fired a 62. Think about it – he was worse than the field average with his racket and put 62 on the card!
In a way, the post-round interview of his 21st PGA Tour victory was better than the win itself.
The final in Canada was a resounding answer to this week’s premiere LIV Golf event in London, which gained momentum and distributed $25 million on its 48-player course on Saturday after the first of eight 54-hole events. LIV Golf is a competitor to the PGA Tour and is one that has a lot of people involved. “We’re not going anywhere,” LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman boasted on Saturday.
McIlroy, who has been vocal about not going to LIV Golf and has concerns about how it will be funded (mainly by the financial arm of the Saudi government), conducted an excavation in Norman on Sunday after his victory.
“It’s unbelievable,” McIlroy told CBS Sports. “This is a day I will remember for a very long time.” He also noted that he now has 21 PGA Tour wins, which is “more than anyone else”.
It should be noted that Norman has 20 PGA Tour wins.
Add all that up, it’s one of the most amazing weeks in recent PGA Tour history (and we haven’t even talked about the fact that there’s a major championship week starting on Monday!).
No one knows how the next few years will go or who will win the struggle for regular supremacy in the season between LIV Golf and the PGA Tour. Those organizations will be involved in that battle for a long time. However, it has been made clear how this week has passed. McIlroy once again revealed himself as the soul of professional golf just a day after LIV Golf proved he didn’t own one. Grade: A +
Here are the rest of our scores for the Canadian Open.
2 – Tony Fino (-17): The worst result in the final set on Sunday was 64. worst result. Finau and Thomas called that number a McIlroy 62, and Finau eventually threw the beast to do so. It’s a great ending for him and arguably his best performance of the year heading into a major week. Finau earned 4.6 strokes a day, which is usually enough to win a regular PGA Tour event. Unfortunately for him, McIlroy has gained over five. Grade: A
3. Justin Thomas (-15): It was very similar to JT as it was at Finau. The PGA Championship winner won by more than four strokes per round over the course of the week and finished five shots ahead of the T7s, feeling he didn’t really stand a chance on Sunday. However, he’s going to The Country Club next week in search of his second major in a row, and I’m not sure his confidence was ever higher. One reason: It’s been positive hits he’s earned in five of his last six tournaments. Grade: A
T4. Justin Rose (-14): It seems strange to be disappointed with 60, but Rose has done something no one has done in the past 30 years. He hit his approach long and made a bogey on the last slot when parity was good enough to shoot a 59.
“I am completely disappointed,” Rose said. “Because you know what’s at stake, sure. You only play on the last hole – I’ve never shot 59 before – so it would have been a great entourage for the week. I don’t know how much he was in my control or not, but…we were on I got it right between two teams and I went in the wrong direction in making the decision and I paid the price for it. So these are the things that happen and it’s amazing how right these situations turn out to end. It was tough, but overall there are tons to get rid of this week.” Grade: A
T18. Scotty Scheffler (-7): The Masters Champion had a bad day (he shot one on Saturday and faded hard on the final day). Like the JT, there are still pros to be discarded. He finished top 15 from the tee to the green and in the driving distance, both of which will be massive next week as he tries to get his second major in both the season and his career. He’s been quiet cool at the US Open recently, and if you think his playing in his last two events (Charles Schwab Challenge and this Canadian Open) is a good indication, he should be a Brookline favorite. B degree