It was a very interesting year in the PGA, so it’s only fitting that the last tournament of the season had its share of drama as well. The Tour Championship looked like it was Scottie Scheffler’s to win – he started off the weekend at -10 before even teeing things up on Thursday, but it was Rory McIlroy that capped off a resurgent year with a one-stroke victory over Scheffler and Sungjae Im.
Scheffler Falters Late
Dustin Johnson won the 2020 FedEx Cup going wire-to-wire when he started as the -10 leader (which goes to the top-ranked player in the standings), and Patrick Cantlay did the same a year ago, so it wasn’t a surprise that Scheffler held the lead for most of the weekend.
It looked like Scheffler was going to finish off a year in which he had four victories with yet another, and in fact, he led from the first hole to the 69th. Scheffler started Sunday with a one-stroke lead over Xander Schauffele and was +110 to take the win on the final day after starting the weekend at +240.
Scheffler, who is normally as cool as they come, had three bogeys on the front nine of the final round and finished Sunday with a 73, the lowest score of the day. He still takes home $5.75 million and earned an automatic bid on the President’s Cup team because of his stellar play this season.
McIlroy Caps a Great Season
McIlroy was six strokes back to start Sunday, so it’s not an understatement to say his win was a surprise. After being the betting favorite for the FedEx St. Jude Championship and the BMW Championship the last two weekends, oddsmakers had cooled on McIlroy, setting him back at +900 prior to Thursday – behind Scheffler, Cantlay, and Schauffele.
It’s not a shocker that McIlroy was down in the odds a bit this weekend at East Lake in Atlanta, considering he started the tournament at -4, six strokes back from Scheffler. Going into Sunday, McIlroy was +1200, so bettors found some value thanks to a final round 66.
With the win, McIlroy becomes the first PGA player to ever win the FedEx Cup three times (2019, 2016), leaving Tiger Woods behind as the only two-time winner.
McIlroy takes home $18 million for his efforts, capping off a big week when it was announced he had partnered with Woods for a new Monday night golf league that is launching in January 2024.
Cantlay had hoped to be the first player to ever win back-to-back FedEx Cups following his wire-to-wire win in 2021, especially after successfully defending his BMW Championship victory last weekend. Cantlay started the weekend at +360 but finished five strokes back from McIlroy at -16 to finish T7.
Im almost provided a big payout with +2500 opening round odds, but he fell a stroke short of the win at -20. Schauffele finished fourth, while Justin Thomas and Max Homa had a T5 but still took home a cool $2.75 million.