Rory McIlroy birdied the last two holes in whipping wind Sunday for a 2-under 68 to win the Genesis Scottish Open, his first victory on Scottish soil, and take a load of confidence into the final major of the year.
McIlroy was 1 shot behind Robert MacIntyre when he played the slope to near perfection on the par-3 17th for a 4-foot birdie putt to tie for the lead. Then he delivered what McIlroy called his best shot of the year — a 2-iron into the wind to 10 feet for a final birdie.
It was a heartbreaker for MacIntyre, who was trying to win his national open, and he delivered a class shot of his own. MacIntyre hammered a 3-wood from the rough on the 18th hole at The Renaissance Club to 4 feet, pumping both fists when it dropped for a 64.
It was a remarkable closing round given the wind that was rough and relentless, and it looked for the longest time that it would give MacIntyre, 26, the signature victory of his young career.
Instead, it was McIlroy, who played the tough back nine in 31 and capped it off with two clutch birdies for his first win since the Dubai Desert Classic.
The victory came at an ideal time. McIlroy heads south to Royal Liverpool for the Open Championship, where he tries to end his nine-year drought in the majors. McIlroy won the claret jug the last time The Open was played at Royal Liverpool in 2014.
“That was such a tough day — so tough,” McIlroy said. “To play that back nine in 4-under par to win the tournament, I’m really proud of how I stuck in there. I hit some amazing shots down the stretch. It feels incredible. It’s been a long six months, I feel, since I won in Dubai. I’ve given myself tons of chances, and hopefully, this win sort of breaks the seal for me, especially going into next week.”
McIlroy finished at 15-under 265 and moved past Jon Rahm to No. 2 in the world.