Rory McIlroy wins FedEx Cup, claims he wants to be like Brooks Koepka

McIlroy targets Koepka's World No.1 spot after clinching second career FedEx Cup title at East Lake. 

Andy Roberts's picture
Tue, 27 Aug 2019

Rory McIlroy got his own back on Brooks Koepka by winning the Tour Championship to claim his second career FedEx Cup, and then claimed he wants to be "more like" the World No.1 player.

McIlroy, 30, carded a final-round 66 to finish on 18-under par, four strokes clear of Xander Schauffele and five ahead of third-round leader Koepka at East Lake.

The Northern Irishman's third win of the PGA Tour season, along with his Players win and Canadian Open victory, sealed a £12.2 million payday in Atlanta and vaulted him back to second in the world behind Koepka.

It was a satisfactory way to end the season for McIlroy, especially to beat the player he admires most on Tour right now. 

“Brooks went out there in Memphis and shot 65 and just basically dominated the tournament, dominated me," said McIlory, referring to the WGC-FedEx St Jude Invitational last month.

"And I realised if I want to become the dominant player in the world again, I need to be more like that.

“I think one of the biggest things is sometimes I’ve tried to treat Sundays the same as a Thursday or Friday, and they’re not. I’ve gone into them maybe a little too relaxed, but it’s not the same, and it’s about trying to get yourself in the right mindset. I guess that’s the ultimate compliment I can give Brooks is that I wanted to be a little bit more like him.

"To play like that alongside Brooks and win, it's awesome."

With Koepka out of action for the next six weeks, McIlroy can move back to World No.1 for the first time since September 2015 if he were able to win this week's Omega European Masters and the BMW PGA Championship in the middle of September. 

McIlroy might lie some three points behind Koepka in the world rankings, but the American is very much bracing himself for a battle for top spot in 2020.

“Like I've said multiple times, Rory’s the most fun to watch when he's playing well,” said four-time major winner Koepka. 

“He hits it so good, he putts it really well, and when he's on, man, he's tough to beat. I enjoy competing against Rory and hopefully it stays that way and everybody stays healthy and competitive.”

McIlroy, who missed the cut at his home Open Championship last month, added: "My goal today was to go and shoot the lowest score of the week. It's been such a cool way to end what has been for me a great season.

"To win the FedEx Cup on multiple occasions is a pretty big deal. Any time you can do something which only Tiger Woods has done, you know you're doing something right.

"Three wins, another FedEx Cup, a Players Championship, which I've never won before, this season is right up there with one of the best I've played. People will maybe look and say I haven't won any majors this year, but I feel like I've played some of the best golf of my career so I will rate this 2019 season very highly."

 

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