McIlroy Birdies Last Two Holes, Beats MacIntyre by 1 in Genesis Scottish Open

Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland simply wouldn’t lose.

The third-ranked McIlroy birdied the last two holes to cap a two-under-par 68 and beat local favorite Robert MacIntyre of Scotland by one stroke in the Genesis Scottish Open in severe windy conditions at The Renaissance Club in North Berwick, Scotland.

The tournament is co-sanctioned by the PGA Tour and the DP World Tour.

“The two iron shots I hit, the 5-iron on 17, and then that 2-iron into the last hole there, they are two of the best iron shots I can remember hitting, especially under the circumstances,” said McIlroy, who claimed the 37th victory of his professional career, including three in the 2022-23 season, and the 24th on the PGA Tour.

“Yeah, it feels great. I came here this week, we are obviously on the eve of The Open Championship, but you know, you’re thinking about trying to prepare for that. But then you know you think about the weight that this tournament carries, being co-sanctioned for Race to Dubai, FedEx Cup, all the stuff at the end of the season as well.

“Obviously a huge confidence boost going into The Open.”

McIlroy, who also led after the second and third rounds, sank birdie putts of five feet on No. 17 and 11 feet on the last after hitting those brilliant approach shots, giving him six birdies for the day and a winning score of 15-under-par 265.

The 26-yearpold MacIntyre, seeking the fourth victory of his pro career, highlighted his 64 with a six-foot eagle putt on the 10th hole and sank a four-footer for his fifth birdie at No. 18 to take a one-stroke lead over McIlroy, who was a few holes behind.

“I’ll never forget it,” MacIntyre said of the experience, even though he was disappointed. “That’s why I play this sport. If not The Open, the Scottish Open will be up there with the event I want to play for the rest of my life. It’s the one I’ve dreamed of winning since I watched it on TV at home, and I thought today coming down once I birdied 18, I thought this might be the one. But it’s not to be just now, and plenty of years ahead.

“I wasn’t even within touching distance of the trophy at the start of the round, and I went out there and put on a performance. Rory McIlroy’s potentially the best in the world, and he showed why today. I take my hat off to him.

“This will give me confidence moving forward. I’m really proud of myself.”

Top-ranked Scottie Scheffler made four birdies in his 70 and finished five shots behind in a tie for third with David Lingmerth of Sweden, who had only one bogey in a 68, and Byeong Hun An of South Korea, the first-round leader at 61, who made four birdies in a 70.

Tom Kim, the 21-year-old from South Korea, held the lead briefly on the front nine but struggled the rest of the way with a double bogey and four bogeys for a 73 and wound up, six strokes down in a tie for sixth with Nicolai Hojgaard of Denmark, who holed out from 42 feet for an eagle at No. 13 and added five birdies in a 67; Tyrrell Hatton of England, who birdied four of the first seven holes in a 69; J.T. Poston, who had three birdies in a 71, and Tommy Fleetwood of England, who made only one birdie in a 72.

Eighth-ranked Max Homa of Valencia and Cal tied for 12th after a 72 that included only two birdies, while fifth-ranked Viktor Hovland of Norway also had only two birdies in a 72 and tied for 25th, and defending champion and sixth-ranked Xander Schauffele of La Jolla and San Diego State birdied two of the first three holes but struggled the rest of the way in a 74 to tie for 42nd.

The 151st Open Championship starts Thursday at Royal Liverpool Golf Club in Hoylake, Wirral, England.

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