ANCASTER, Ontario – Rory McIlroy ran away with the Canadian Open, closing with a 9-under 61 on Sunday for a seven-shot victory.
McIlroy, who started the day in a three-way tie, ended any suspense about who would emerge as the champion with five birdies in his first seven holes, none from longer than 8 feet.
It was McIlroy's 16th PGA Tour victory and 25th win worldwide, and the fourth by at least seven shots. The world's fourth-ranked player will hope to ride the momentum into next week's U.S. Open at Pebble Beach.
The only question on the back nine was whether McIlroy would shoot the 11th sub-60 round in PGA Tour history. He made four straight birdies from Nos. 11-14, and a bogey on the par-3 16th stalled him only momentarily. He followed with a 7-iron from 196 yards to 21/2 feet for eagle on the par-5 17th to get to 10 under at par-70 Hamilton Golf and Country Club.
But he missed the green on the par-4 18th and his bunker shot went long. He ended up tapping in for bogey to finish at a tournament-record 22-under 258.
The 61 equaled the low round of McIlroy's PGA Tour career.
“I think when you play, you get into stretches like this, you do get into some sort of flow, that flow state or in the zone or whatever anyone wants to call it. I definitely got into that a little bit today at the start of the back nine. It was the same that day at Portrush all those years ago,” McIlroy said. “It's almost like you're out of your own body and looking at yourself play. For some times today that's how it felt. So if I could bottle that feeling and take it with me week to week, I would. Sort of comes and goes.”
Shane Lowry and Webb Simpson tied for second at 15 under.
Adam Hadwin, seeking to become the first Canadian winner of the event since 1954, closed with a 70 and finished sixth, 10 shots back. His consolation prize was a spot in the British Open at Royal Portrush in July.
The victory in McIlroy's Canadian Open debut was his fifth in a national open, following the U.S. Open (2011), Australian Open (2013), British Open (2014) and Irish Open (2016). McIlroy also counts the Hong Kong Open (2011) as part of his national-championship tally.
LPGA: In Galloway, New Jersey, Lexi Thompson made a 20-foot putt for eagle on the 18th hole to complete a late comeback and win the ShopRite LPGA Classic.
Trailing Jeongeun Lee6 by two strokes after the 15th, Thompson finished birdie-par-eagle to shoot a 4-under 67 and finish the 54-hole event at 12-under 201. It was her 11th career LPGA Tour victory, extending her streak to seven straight years with at least one win on the tour.
Lee6, the champion of last week's U.S. Women's Open who was playing two groups behind Thompson, lost her lead with three consecutive bogeys from Nos. 13 through 15 over the Bay Course at Seaview before bouncing back with a birdie at No. 16 to tie Thompson.
However, needing an eagle to force a playoff after reaching the green in two, she missed a 45-foot putt and settled for birdie.
Ally McDonald was third, three shots back.
CHAMPIONS: In Chiba, Japan Scott McCarron had three birdies on the back nine to pull away for a 5-under 67 and a three-shot victory in the MasterCard Japan Championship.
McCarron, who finished at 13-under 203 at Narita Golf Club, won for the third time this year to extend his lead in the Charles Schwab Cup.
Billy Andrade (68) and Kirk Triplett (69) tied for second.
Andrade's birdie at No. 10 gave him a share of the lead with McCarron, but he dropped a shot on the 11th and never caught up.