Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy ran away from the field and set a new scoring record in the process on Sunday, firing a 9-under-par 61 to reach 22-under 258 and win by seven shots at the RBC Canadian Open in Hamilton, Ontario.
It was the 16th career PGA Tour win and sixth national open title for McIlroy, who made his event debut this week. The win was also his second of 2019 -- he captured The Players Championship in March. McIlroy bested the previous Canadian Open scoring record by five shots. The previous record of 263 was set by Johnny Palmer in 1952 and matched most recently in 2014 by Tim Clark.
"Just awesome," McIlroy told CBS Sports following his win. "I said it from the start I wanted to be aggressive, you know I played with so much freedom yesterday and 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. Obviously, this is a huge tournament to win. I'm very proud of myself but going forward for this season to play the way I did in a final round like this, I'm going to take a lot from this and I'm excited for next week."
McIlroy got off to a hot start by making birdie on five of his first seven holes. He made the turn at 5 under before reeling off four straight birdies on holes 11-14. His first hiccup of the day came with a bogey on the par-3 16th hole, but he rebounded with an eagle 3 on 17 and finished with a bogey at 18.
Webb Simpson and Ireland's Shane Lowry finished tied for second at 15 under. Simpson, who played the first 54 holes without a bogey, finally bobbled at the third but made five birdies over the rest of his round including a chip-in at the 18th and finished with a 68. Lowry, who started the day one shot behind the leaders, carded four birdies and one bogey for a final-round 67.
"Today was a struggle. Just wasn't quite sharp off the tee," said Simpson, the 33-year-old North Carolina native whose last win came in 2018 at The Players Championship. "This golf course, I been hitting the fairway and this golf course is tough when you're not hitting the fairway. But it was nice to finish with a few birdies coming in.
"I felt like mentally it was my best week in a long time. I putted really well. I'm excited. You've got to make short putts, long putts at the U.S. Open to contend, and so I'm excited for next week. I think my game is in a good spot."
The top-three finish earned Lowry a spot in next week's U.S. Open at Pebble Beach, which was a welcome relief for the 119th-ranked player.
"I don't know what golf Rory is playing today, but it was just incredible. Yeah, very happy with the way I played and give myself a great bit of confidence going into next week," said Lowry.
"I've been happy the way my season has been going even before this week. Just coming in here trying to get in the U.S. Open. ... I've got that, so it's been a good week and I'm pretty happy."
Brandt Snedeker (69) and Matt Kuchar (70) finished tied for fourth at 13 under, and Canadian Adam Hadwin carded a 70 to finish alone in sixth.
Hadwin's top-10 finish also earned him one of three available spots for The Open Championship next month at Royal Portrush Golf Club in Northern Ireland. Also earning his spot was Portrush native Graeme McDonald, who holed a 29-footer for par on 18 and shot 68 to finish tied for eighth place at 10 under.
"I think I had a reasonable belief in myself that I was going to be able to take care of it one of these weeks. Obviously as the pressure started to build it was going to be more difficult as it went along," McDowell told CBS. "Obviously very proud to have got one of the Open Championship spots and get that little monkey off my back and let me go and play some golf the next few weeks."
World No. 1-ranked Brooks Koepka, who also made his event debut, shot an even-par 70 on Sunday to finish tied for 50th place. Defending champion Dustin Johnson finished with a 69 for a tie for 20th at 7 under.
--Field Level Media