Rory McIlroy was delighted to join Tiger Woods as the only two-time winners of the FedEx Cup after his victory at the Tour Championship on Sunday.
McIlroy fired a four-under 66 in the final round at East Lake, winning by four strokes from Xander Schauffele despite briefly stumbling late.
The Northern Irishman added to his 2016 FedEx Cup title, joining Woods (2007 and 2009) as the only players to claim the crown twice.
McIlroy was thrilled to join Woods on the tally as he reflected on his victory and the ovation he received on the 18th hole.
“It was pretty cool. I turned to Harry [Diamond, caddie] when we were walking down the hill on 18 after I’d hit my second shot, and I said, ‘well, this walk is a little more pleasant than last year, not running away from a stampede’,” he told a news conference.
“It was cool. To have a moment like that again, I didn’t play well at all last year with Tiger in that final group, so to get myself in a final group again this year.
“I thought a lot about that. I thought about the final group with Tiger last year, the final group with Brooks [Koepka] in Memphis a few weeks ago, and I really wanted to go out there and play well and really take it to him, and I did that for the most part. I went out, shot 66 on a really tough golf course and got the job done.
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“Really cool, really cool to put my name on this trophy for a second time. Any time you can do something that only Tiger has done, you’re doing something right.
“It was an awesome day, long day. To come back out in the morning and play 13 holes and then play that full 18, I’m going to sleep well tonight, put it that way.”
McIlroy and Koepka were the final pairing, the world number one only able to shoot a two-over 72 to end up tied for third, five shots behind McIlroy.
Koepka came out on top when the pair were together during the last round at the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational a month ago and McIlroy was pleased to secure his win this time.
“I think it just gives me a little bit of an extra incentive. It wasn’t that important, but once I saw I was in the final group with Brooks, it just took me back to Memphis a few weeks ago, and I felt like I learned a few lessons that day,” he said.
“Not that I wasn’t going to focus, but it gave me that little bit of extra – not motivation, but I wanted to right some of the wrongs that I made that Sunday in Memphis a few weeks ago, and it was a good opportunity to do it.”