McIlroy was the coveted RBC Canadian Open and PGA rock star

In a fishbowl inside a soup bowl, Rory McIlroy, star of the show at St. George’s Golf and Country Club in Toronto, stunned crowds on Sunday and won the RBC Canadian Open for the second time in a row in stunning fashion.

Dressed for the occasion in aqua pants and a hot pink shirt, in the pastel colors that only curvaceous men can wear on such a hot day, McIlroy battled his two playmates – Justin Thomas in salmon, Tony Fino in lemon – in a magnificent duel to the end.

Any of the three would be a welcome winner. McIlroy triumphed, and successfully defended the PGA Tour title for the first time in his career, was certainly what tournament and tour officials wished for. More so given everything that is going on in the world of golf nowadays.

You can tell McIlroy he really wants this. He always walks with a jump in his stride, shoulders back and chest out. But after rolling in 26 feet for a birdie on the first hole to take the lead on his own, then tearing his 30-yard lead off a father of Thomas and Finno in the second, there was a feeling he wouldn’t be denied on this day.

He had that look.

“I’ve had a little JT in the past and he has outlasted me a few times. So I knew I had to play really well to beat him,” said McIlroy. “Tony as well. Tony played incredible golf today too. So that was this a big part of it.

“I think facing the best and hitting the best always makes it so special.”

From the third through the twelfth, McIlroy made seven birds and one ghost. Thomas and Finaw didn’t hold back, with Thomas spinning six consecutive numbers on his scorecard at one point, and Finau making half a dozen sparrows on the same day. Up front, Justin Rose hit a run at 59, and Listowel fired Cory Conners of Ont. 8-under 62 to climb up the leaderboard, eventually finishing sixth.

Indeed, St. George was placed on this day. After running its own test and providing a similar test through 54 holes, the course was smooth and attackable given the night rain.

But this was fine. Sunday’s fireworks were what fans came here to watch; Some even made a little of their own.

Rory made a triple with another birdie at 12, but followed that up with a bogey on 13, missing a short time to the shock of spectators. Thomas then flew 14 to pull inside one, and when McIlroy took over the raucous Rink Hall 16, the two leaders standing on the 17th tee were tied with Finau behind him.

The penultimate hole in St. To do so is aggressive play that sometimes causes the tee shots to leak properly. Thomas did just that, and he was proven wrong.

He couldn’t make it to the green of the thick rough that his ball rested in and he didn’t get up and down for equality. When McIlroy made a birdie, ensuring the two planes would swing, the tournament was over.

At least in terms of who will win.

The scene on the 18th was gruesome. After McIlroy hit another great shot, this time at four feet, thousands of fans rushed to within a few feet of the green. Some even broke into a cavernous hideout, forcing police and security to take action.

McIlroy compared it to the 2018 championship that Tiger Woods won. It was “an afterthought,” said McIlroy, who was playing for Woods that day. This time, he was the man the crowd was trying to encroach on. It was a small scar in a great atmosphere.

“The fans here this week have been absolutely amazing,” said McIlroy, who used a flying throw at the end to finish 19th under, two points over runner-up Finau with third Thomas. “Like, very good and very cool to play in an atmosphere like that. Loud, loud, but respectful. Except that it’s really, really cool.”

As the champion mentioned in the press room, his 21st victory on the PGA Tour put him one ahead of the career mark of Greg Norman, LIV Golf forward. McIlroy has shouldered much of the burden when it comes to hoisting the flag of the PGA Tour against an upstart series funded by the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia. He is clearly not a huge fan of the great Australian player, or at least what Norman does.

However, McIlroy only relates to Norman when it comes to Canadian Open victories. Norman won the championship twice at Glen Abbey in 1984 and 1992.

Which is good for this tournament. Because you better think it will give McIlroy more motivation when he goes for the triathlon next year.

Jason Logan is the editor of SCOREGolf Magazine based in Toronto. He is a contributor to the Star’s Sports section. Follow him on Twitter: Tweet embed

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