Rory McIlroy Wins Players Championship After Tight Competition [VIDEO]
The competition at TPC Sawgrass over the weekend seemed like it was never going to thin out. How could just one person walk away as the winner at The Players Championship? Players simultaneously moved up and down the board and were stuck in the logjam.
Rory McIlroy watched as his lead grew smaller and smaller and then it was gone. Eddie Pepperell passed him and so too did Jhonattan Vegas. After trailing Jon Rahm by one to start the day, McIlroy seemed to be miles away from the lead. Then, Abraham Ancer and Jim Furyk passed him, too.
On Sunday, TPC Sawgrass seemed more like the world’s quietest raceway than a golf course. Who holds a lead for just 16 seconds in golf? Jhonattan Vegas does. But soon enough, McIlroy came back.
He easily could’ve spun out after a double bogey on the fourth hole or when he found himself one-over-par midway through. But instead, McIlroy waited. There were no great feats, no epic chase-downs. While some worried if McIlroy was apathetic to winning, it was that same attitude that brought him to victory on Sunday. He put together four birdies, against one bogey, on the final nine. That meant a two-under-70 final round, a narrow win.
However, when he two-putted to end his appearance at the tournament, he showed little emotion. In the cool winds and with rain coming and going, the McIlroy whose emotions once ran the gamut seemed as if he could care less. Though after he won, he said, “Of course I desperately wanted the win today, but it’s just another day. It’s just another step in the journey.”
With it now a decade since his first start at Sawgrass, McIlroy has realized that to prolong his golf career, he has to be more than just a golfer.
“One thing I used to do in the past is I’d let what I shot that day influence who I was or my mood,” McIlroy said, adding, “It’s something I’ve worked hard on because who I am as a person isn’t who I am as a golfer.”
The 29-year-old Irishman silenced his doubters this weekend. He’ll start in the World Golf Championships match-play event in two weeks. After that he’ll set his sights on the big prize, trying to complete a career Grand Slam for the fifth time with a victory at the Masters.