In the end, it was Rory McIlroy and not Justin Thomas who joined Tiger Woods as the only two-time winners of the FedEx Cup.
The 30-year-old from Northern Ireland, who also claimed the Cup in 2016, closed with a 4-under-par 66 to win the Tour Championship by four strokes over Xander Schauffele of La Jolla and San Diego State at East Lake Golf Club www.eastlakegolfclub.com in Atlanta.
“It’s pretty cool,” said McIlroy, who captured the Players Championship early this season and has 17 career victories on the PGA Tour, including four majors. “To play like that today going head-to-head against the No. 1 player in the world (Brooks Koepka) was an amazing feeling.
“It looked like it was going to be a three-horse race, but I was able to separate myself. To end what has been a great season like this and win the FedEx Cup again, I’m very proud of myself. It was a great week and I hope to be back to defend my title next year.
“I’m going to enjoy myself tonight.”
The leaders had to play 23 holes on Sunday, returning at 8 a.m. to complete the third round, which was suspended by inclement weather on Saturday.
The top-ranked Koepka, who shot 68 in round three to take the lead, finished with a 72 that included a double-bogey 6 on the seventh hole and three straight bogeys on the back nine, to wind up five shots back in a tie for third with Thomas, who had a 68.
Thomas, the 2017 FedEx Cup champion, won the BMW Championship last week to take the lead in the FedEx standings and entered the Tour Championship in the lead at 10-under in the tournament’s new format, but was only 3-under on the course for the week.
The talk much of the week was that Thomas might join Woods as the only two-time winners of the Cup, but McIlroy posted four sub-par rounds and played East Lake in 13-under for the week to finish at 18 below par. He earned $15 million.
Paul Casey of England totaled 72 and was nine shots back in fifth, followed by Adam Scott of Australia (66) in sixth, Tony Finau (67) in seventh and Chez Reavie (70) in eighth—all one stroke further back.
Patrick Reed, who captured The Northern Trust to open the playoffs, shot 68 and was 13 down in a tie for ninth with Hideki Matsuyama of Japan, who had a 66, and Kevin Kisner, who came in at 68.
U.S. Open champion Gary Woodland finished 15th after a 71, while Matt Kuchar, who led the point standings much of the season, tied for 16th following a 74, 2012 FedEx Cup champ Brandt Snedeker shot 72 to tie for 24th and defending FedEx Cup champion Justin Rose of England also closed with a 72 to tie for 26th in the 30-man field.
For complete results, visit https://www.pgatour.com/leaderboard.html