Rory McIlroy stages stunning finish to win the Irish Open.


Rory McIlroy conjured up two magical strikes of the highest quality as he held off a valiant challenge from Russell Knox to claim the Irish Open title at the K Club.

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McIlroy delighted his legion of adoring home fans with a remarkable sequence of shots over the final three holes to turn a one-stroke deficit into a three-shot victory, closing out his first win of the year with an eagle at the 72nd hole.

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Danny Willett began the final round as the biggest threat to the tournament host, but the Masters champion missed a series of birdie chances and dropped five shots in four holes down the stretch to plummet out of contention.


Knox birdied 14 and 15 to jump into a one-shot lead, but the tournament turned on its head at the par-five 16th as McIlroy laced a three-wood to the heart of the green and two-putted for birdie, while Knox again needed three putts to get down and walked off with a bogey six.


The deflated Scot parred the last two to settle for a share of second on nine under with Bradley Dredge, who birdied 17 and 18 to cap a superb six-under 66, while Matthew Southgate staged a strong finish to clinch outright fourth after a 68.

2016 Irish Open: Final Leaderboard
Position Player To Par Final Round Score
1 Rory McIlroy -12 69
T2 Bradley Dredge -9 66
T2 Russell Knox -9 68
4 Matthew Southgate -8 68
T5 Martin Kaymer -6 65
T5 Maximilian Kieffer -6 67
T5 Tyrrell Hatton -6 70

McIlroy becomes the first player to win a European Tour event he has hosted and he will donate his winning prize of €666,660 to the Rory Foundation.

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“I was trying to stay as relaxed as possible,” he said. “Even when Russell birded 14 and 15, which are two of the toughest holes on the course, I knew that my length would be an advantage over the last three holes.

“I told myself, ‘I’m still in this, I still have chances’. I didn’t quite think I’d end up with my three (on the 18th) but I thought I still had a chance so I stayed as patient as I possibly could. But when there’s 30,000 people roaring you on, that’s quite hard. It was absolutely incredible. I don’t know if I can put it into words. I don’t really get emotional when I win but I was trying to hold back the tears there on the 18th green”.

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“Just looking up there and seeing all my friends and family and the support that I’ve had this week. To win in front of them, I don’t get a chance to play in front my home fans very often so to play like that and to finish like that today, I’ll never forget it”.

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Rob Brooks @GolfNation_

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Via: European Tour, Golf Channel, Skysports.









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