HAMILTON, Ont. — Using a loonie as his ball marker, Rory McIlroy fired a final round 9-under par 61 to win Canada’s National Open Championship, the RBC Canadian Open in his first appearance.
McIlroy’s 22-under-par 258 is the lowest 72-hole score ever carded at the RBC Canadian Open. The previous record of 263 was held by Johnny Palmer (1952), Scott Piercy (2012) and Tim Clark (2014). His final round 61 is also the best final round at the 110-year-old event, breaking the record of 62 held by Andy Bean (1983).
The 30-year-old entered Sunday’s final round sharing the lead with Americans Matt Kuchar and Webb Simpson. He started his round by lipping-out a chip for eagle on the first hole, en route to birding four of his first five holes. With the win the Northern Irishman claimed his 16th PGA TOUR title.
“It’s been a while since I played like this and sort of put my foot down, but it was so nice to do it today,” said McIlroy. “I’m very proud of what I’ve done today. Hopefully this sets up well for the rest of the year, too.”
McIlroy becomes only the sixth player to win the career Triple Crown, having won the U.S. Open in 2011 and The Open Championship in 2014. He joins an exclusive club that includes Tommy Armour, Walter Hagen, Arnold Palmer, Lee Trevino and Tiger Woods.
“The reception from the Canadian crowds have been incredible this week,” added McIlroy. “They couldn’t have been any better. They’ve been so welcoming all week. I can’t wait to come back next year.”
McIlroy is the first golfer to win the RBC Canadian Open on his first attempt since Chez Reavie in 2008 and the first European to capture the title since Sweden’s Carl Pettersson in 2010.
Ireland’s Shane Lowry and American Web Simpson finished tied for second at 15-under par 265 for the tournament. Americans Matt Kuchar and Brandt Snedeker finished tied for 4th at 13-under.
Adam Hadwin fired an even-par 70 in the final round, finishing as the low Canadian at 12-under par 268 on the tournament. Hadwin was awarded the Rivermead Cup for the fourth time of his career as low Canadian.
“The crowd was amazing all week,” said Hadwin. “That reception coming up 18 was something special. I pictured it with being a few more [strokes] under earlier in the week, but they were amazing. I’m just disappointed I couldn’t get it done in front of them.”
By virtue of his sixth-place finish, Hadwin qualifies for the 2019 Open Championship being held July 14-21 at Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland. Also earning an exemption in the 2019 Open Championship was Northern Irishman Graeme McDowell. New for 2019, the RBC Canadian Open is included in The Open Qualifying Series. Up to three players who are not already exempt earned places in the 148th Open Championship at Royal Portrush
The 2020 RBCCO is being held at St. George’s Golf and Country Club in Toronto from June 8 to 14.
Click here to view the full leaderboard for the 2019 RBC Canadian Open.