McIlroy cruises to Canadian Open win after shooting 61
Rory McIlroy hit top form ahead of the U.S. Open, carding a phenomenal nine-under 61 to cruise to victory at the Canadian Open on Sunday.
The Northern Irishman produced a stunning final round at the Hamilton Golf and Country Club, mixing an eagle with nine birdies and two bogeys.
McIlroy flirted with a 59 but bogeyed the final hole, finishing at 22 under for a seven-stroke victory – his 16th success on the PGA Tour – with Shane Lowry and Webb Simpson tied for second.
It marked McIlroy's second win of 2019, a perfect time to find form ahead of the year's third major starting at Pebble Beach on Thursday.
"It was just awesome," McIlroy, who shot 64 on Saturday, told CBS after his win. "I said from the start I wanted to be aggressive. I played with so much freedom yesterday, I just wanted to keep that going today. Tied for the lead, going out and playing with that freedom, it gives me so much confidence."
McIlroy birdied five of his first seven holes and followed with four straight birdies from 11 to 14.
He bogeyed the 16th hole before he concluded his round with an eagle and another bogey, falling just short of a 59.
"Obviously, this is a huge tournament to win, I'm very proud of myself," McIlroy said. "Going forward this season, to play the way I did in a final round like this, I'm going take a lot from this."
Matt Kuchar, who entered the day tied for the lead with McIlroy and Simpson, was even in the final round and tied for fourth with Brandt Snedeker at 13 under.
Canadian Adam Hadwin placed sixth at 12 under.
Dustin Johnson (69) and Justin Thomas (69) tied for 20th at seven under.
Graeme McDowell fired a two-under 68 to be tied for eighth at 10 under, but he still had plenty riding on his last putt.
The 2010 U.S. Open winner holed a 29-footer to secure a top-10 finish and place at this year's Open Championship, which will be hosted in his hometown of Portrush.