Rory Rolls to 7-Shot Win in Canada With 61

Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland wasn’t on holiday, but he had a great weekend in Canada.

The fourth-ranked McIlroy, who was tied for the lead entering the final round, blew away the field with a 9-under-par 61 to win the RBC Canadian Open by seven strokes over Webb Simpson and Shane Lowry of Ireland at Hamilton Golf and Country Club in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.

“I’ve had such a great week in Canada and the fans have been so nice to me,” said McIlroy, who claimed his 16th PGA Tour victory ahead of the U.S. Open next week at Pebble Beach. “I’m very proud and can’t wait to come back (to defend his title).

“I’m really excited about next week. It was just awesome, right from the start. I played so well yesterday and I just wanted keep it up and stay aggressive. I’m very proud of myself to play a round like this. It’s such a huge tournament.”

McIlroy, who shot 64 in the third round, birdied five of the first seven holes on Sunday and added four birdies in a row through No. 14 before making a three-foot eagle putt on No. 17 to threaten 59, but had two late bogeys to finish at 22-under 258.

Simpson, who captured the 2012 U.S. Open at the Olympic Club in San Francisco, birdied the last two holes to shoot 67 and tie Lowry, who totaled 68 to record his third top-10 finish in his last four starts.

Brandt Snedeker finished at 68 to wind up nine shots back in a tie for fourth with Matt Kuchar, who had a 70, while Adam Hadwin of Canada was 10 down in sixth after a 70 and Sungjae Im of South Korea was one more behind in seventh following a 64.

Danny Willett of England shot 67 and finished 12 strokes back in a tie for eighth with Henrik Stenson of Sweden, who had a 70, and Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland, who sank a clutch 29-foot par putt on the last hole to cap a 68.

By finishing in the top 10, McDowell qualified for the 148th Open Championship next month on his home course at Royal Portrush.

“It’s been on my mind for so long, it’s nice to finally get it done,” said McDowell, who won the 2010 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach.

Second-ranked Dustin Johnson, the defending champion, closed with a 69 to finish in a tie for 20th that included sixth-ranked Justin Thomas, who also had a 69, while top-ranked Brooks Koepka totaled 70 to tie for 50th ahead of his U.S. Open title defense.

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