Rory McIlroy and Justin Thomas put on an absolute show for a week when the PGA Tour desperately needed it at the 2022 RBC Canadian Open. McIlroy shot 62 to finish at 19 under, beating Tony Finau by two strokes and Justin Thomas by three. It’s his second consecutive victory at the Canadian Open and the 21st victory of his extraordinary career on the PGA Tour.
McIlroy, who played with Thomas and Finau in the final line, came out of the gates completely on fire. He birdied five up front and shot 29 that side before birdying his front three on the back nine to take the tournament completely. Although he started to fade a little, he blocked his last two approaches — one from 2 feet and the other from 4 feet — and made them both for the 62.
It was representative of a day when McIlroy had been running the wedges. He hit seven approaches (all over 100 yards) within 5 feet and lost strokes in a day when he shot 62. Think about it – he was worse than average for the field with his putter and put a 62 on the map!
Somehow, the post-tour interview of his 21st PGA Tour victory was even better than the victory itself.
The final in Canada was a resounding response to this week’s first LIV Golf event in London, which picked up steam and handed out $25 million to its 48-player field on Saturday after the first of eight events of 54 holes. LIV Golf is a PGA Tour rival and one that has a lot of people worried. LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman bragged on Saturday: “We’re not going anywhere.”
McIlroy, who has openly said he does not go to LIV Golf and is worried about how it is funded (mostly by the financial arm of the Saudi government), launched a dig at Norman on Sunday after his victory.
“It’s amazing,” McIlroy told CBS Sports. “It’s a day I will remember for a long time.” He also noted that he now has 21 PGA Tour wins, “one more than anyone else.”
Norman, it should be noted, has 20 PGA Tour wins.
Add it all up and it’s one of the most remarkable weeks in recent PGA Tour history (and we haven’t even mentioned the fact that there’s a major championship week starting on Monday!).
No one knows how the next few years will play out or who will win the fight for regular season supremacy between LIV Golf and the PGA Tour. These organizations will be involved in this battle for a long time. However, clarifications have been made on the course of this week. McIlroy has once again revealed himself as the soul of pro golf just a day after LIV Golf proved he doesn’t even have one. Rating: A+
Here are the rest of our scores for the Canadian Open.
2. Tony Finau (-17): The worst score in the final group on Sunday was 64. The worse score. Finau and Thomas both shot that number over McIlroy’s 62, and Finau made a monster putt last to do it. It’s a nice finish for him and arguably his best performance of the year before a major week. Finau gained 4.6 strokes per day, which is normally enough to win a regular PGA Tour event. Unfortunately for him, McIlroy won more than five. Rating: A
3. Justin Thomas (-15): It was pretty much the same for JT as it was for Finau. The PGA Championship winner won more than four strokes per round during the week and finished five strokes ahead of the T7s, and he felt like he never really had a chance on Sunday. Still, he’ll head to the Country Club next week in search of his second straight major, and I’m not sure his confidence has ever been higher. One of the reasons: he has been positive in strokes gained while participating in five of his last six tournaments. Rating: A
T4. Justin Rose (-14): It seems strange to be let down by a 60, but Rose did something no one had done in the last 30 years. He hit his approach long and bogeyed on the last hole when the par would have been good enough to shoot 59.
“I’m totally disappointed,” Rose said. “Because you know what’s at stake, of course. You’re really only playing the last hole – I’ve never shot 59 before – so that would have been a nice footnote to the week. I don’t know not how much was in my control or not but…we were just between two clubs and i got the wrong decision and paid the price so these are things that happen and it’s amazing to see how these situations turn out just to It was tricky, but overall there’s tons to take away from this week.” Rating: A
T18. Scottie Scheffler (-7): The Masters champion had a bad day (he drew 1 on Saturday and passed out badly on the last day). Like JT, there are still positives to take away. He finished in the top 15 from tee to green and in driving distance, both of which will be huge next week as he attempts his second major of the season and of his career. He’s been quietly excellent at the US Open recently, and if you believe his play at his last two events (Charles Schwab Challenge and this Canadian Open) is any indication, then he should be among the favorites at Brookline. Category B