While Rory McIlroy may not have had his best stuff last week at TPC Harding Park, the world No. 1 hit clutch shots when he had to, and a hot putter helped him erase multiple deficits en route to winning the WGC-Cadillac Match Play Championship.
McIlroy won seven matches in only five days and trailed in three of those matches. He defeated three different opponents Sunday, edging Paul Casey in a playoff after their match Saturday was delayed due to darkness, then Jim Furyk in the semifinals and Gary Woodland in the finals.
“I played really solid golf,” said McIlroy, who turns 26 today. “I have got on a nice little run in match play. I got a lot of confidence from the way I played against Rickie [Fowler] in the Ryder Cup last year [winning 5&4] and just followed it on through into this.”
Against Furyk, McIlroy was 1 down with three holes to play, but finished birdie-birdie-eagle (making putts of seven, four and 44 feet) to win the match 1 up. Here’s a look at that 44-foot eagle putt:
You can’t help but feel for Furyk. The poor guy was 1 up on the 15th tee, birdied three of the last four holes, and lost.
McIlroy’s putting was the most consistent part of his game at TPC Harding Park, a course with subtly tricky greens that were somewhat unknown to many pros prior to last week.
Rory used a Nike Method 006 putter en route to victory, the same putter he used for victories at the 2014 British Open and PGA Championship.