Live BlogAugust 25, 2019

Tour Championship 2019 Live Blog: Rory McIlroy finishes birdie-birdie to win the FedEx Cup

Rory McIlroy
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For the first time in FedEx Cup history, Sunday's final round of the Tour Championship won't require any math. Unless, of course, you're one of the player's agents trying to figure out how much of a cut you get from a record $60 million prize pool. The unusual staggered-start leader board may have taken some time getting used to, but now players and fans are left with an easy-to-follow finish: The person with the lowest score at day's end will win the Tour Championship and the FedEx Cup. And what a fantastic fivesome it is vying for that first-ever $15 million prize.

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A pair of four-time major champs, Brooks Koepka (-15) and Rory McIlroy (-14), will play in the final pairing at 2:10 ET. Ahead of them, Xander Schauffele (-14) and Paul Casey (-11) with Justin Thomas (-11) lurking in the third-to-last group. Fans won't need Steve Stands and his white board to explain all the possible different permutations, but we'll be here with all the latest updates from East Lake instead.


6 p.m.: It wasn't exactly the same scene as when Tiger Woods won a year ago, but it was still pretty good, as fans again rushed up the fairway and this time chanted "RORY! RORY!" instead of "TIGER! TIGER!" Both have a good ring to it. Know what has a better ring? The cha-ching sound that McIlroy must be making in his head right now. $15 million is a nice sum of money, some would say. Check out what the rest of the field made here, and how the final leader board looks here.

5:48 p.m.: Koepka fails to make his birdie, giving Schauffele solo second. Rory follows with a birdie to finish in style and win by four. It's his second FedEx Cup title, putting him in elite company. He and Tiger Woods are the only players to win the season-ending title multiple times.

5:40 p.m.: GASP! A little drama at the final hole, where Schauffele misses his short birdie and finishes at 14 under. Brooks Koepka, who just hit his second well short of the green, can make birdie and tie for second. McIlroy went for the green but came up short in a green side bunker.

5:37 p.m.: No albatross for Xander, and no eagle either, as his chip just misses up at the 18th green. He'll have a look at birdie to get to 15 under, which could secure him a decent-sized second-place check of $5 million. Yawn.

McIlroy, who found the fairway with the driver, will have a nice easy stroll up the 72nd. A $15 million stroll to be exact.

5:30 p.m.: After finding the green at 17, McIlroy slams the door with a birdie putt to reach 17 under. He's now three up on Schauffele, who just smashed one down the middle at the 18th hole. Eagle or bust? Try albatross or bust. McIlroy isn't making bogey here.

5:23 p.m.: McIlroy finds the fairway at the 17th with a 3-wood, and suddenly looks back in control. Up at the green, Schauffele's birdie putt comes up two revolutions short. Eagle or bust at 18 for the X-Man.

5:20 p.m.: Rory's long putt from off the green came up well short, leaving a testy par putt. This time he holes it to stay at 16 under, two up on Schauffele, who just found the 17th green and has about 15 feet for birdie. Must make.

5:15 p.m.: It's a miracle! Schauffele hits a fairway with a driver at the 17th, leaving himself with a short iron in. Like we said, needs birdie here to make things really interesting,

5:14 p.m.: McIlroy comes up well short with his approach from the bunker, though it's just off the front of the green. Needs a par to settle things down here.

5:11 p.m.: Schauffele comes up just short with his birdie try, settling for par to remain at 14 under. Figure he needs to go birdie-birdie, maybe birdie-eagle to have a real chance.

5;06 p.m.: McIlroy plays his bunker shot well left of the hole, leaving himself with a much longer par putt than he probably wanted. He misses and settles for a second straight bogey to drop back to 16 under. Man, Schauffele is going to be kicking himself if he loses this thing by one or two. He's still alive, but had a chance at 15 to make it real interesting. He has a long look at birdie coming up at the 16th green to pull within one. Behind him, McIlroy finds the same fairway bunker as Schauffele, also with a 3-wood.

5:02 p.m.: Because of how poorly he's been hitting his driver, Xander Schauffele pulls 3-wood at the 16th and still blocks one right, finding the fairway bunker. Woof.

5:01 p.m.: Schauffele misses a putt he had to make, and probably should have. Not a great stroke, and the par keeps him at 14 under. McIlroy finds the greenside bunker, but with a three-shot lead, he's still got to be feeling pretty good.

4:55 p.m.: Majestic shot at the par-3 15th from Schauffele, leaving him with less than 15 feet for birdie. He pretty much has to make that. Back at 14, McIlroy hits his third to 10 feet but misses his par putt to drop back to 17 under.

4:52 p.m.: McIlroy pulled 7 iron from 215 out and in the rough, and it did not go well. He missed badly to the right and well short of the green, and now has another difficult shot from the thick stuff coming up.

4:47 p.m.: Good stroke by Schauffele, but it just misses on the left side of the hole. Back to 14 under, putting him four back of McIlroy, who is in a bit of trouble off the 14th tee.

4:43 p.m.: Welp, this tournament pretty much just ended. McIlroy trickles in his birdie putt at the 13th to get to 18 under, and his playing partner Koepka three-putts for bogey. Up at 14, Schauffele tries to punch his second shot underneath a tree and advanced it only 60 yards. With 171 left to the pin, he hits a good one to about 20 feet. He'll need to make that just to stay within three shots.

4:37 p.m.: Schauffele pulls one badly at the 14th, putting in a spot where he probably can't get on the green. Back at 13, McIlroy finds the green and has another good look at birdie. This thing could be over if he holes that one.

4:33 p.m.: Schauffele misses the fairway at the 13th, then plays one short and right of the green and two-putts (technically one-putts) for par to stay at 15 under.

4:29 p.m.: Right after Schauffele pulled within one, Rory McIlroy nearly holes out his approach for eagle at the 12th, spinning it back to three feet. Koepka followed by putting his second shot in the front right bunker, then almost holed his third for birdie. It rolled out to five feet and he missed his par putt, dropping him to 14 under. He's now three back of McIlroy, who made his short birdie putt and is now at 17 under.

4:24 p.m.: At the 12th, Xander Schauffele comes up about 20 feet short with his wedge shot from 125 yards, but buries the up hill birdie putt to get to 15 under. Huge conversion, as he's now one back of McIlroy, who is in great position in the left side of the fairway in the group behind. Koepka also found the fairway.

4:18 p.m.: McIlroy opens the face from the thick stuff and plays a perfect chip to a few feet. Koepka follows with his birdie effort that just misses. Two more pars.

4:15 p.m.: Couple of good looking shots from Rory and Brooks at the par-3 11th, but only one ends up on the dance floor. That'd be Koepka's tee shot, which landed well below the hole and has a decent look at birdie. McIlroy, meanwhile, flew his tee shot over the flag and it bounded off the back of the green. Tough up and down coming up.

Up at the 12th, Xander Schauffele finds another fairway, something he's struggled with today.

4:12 p.m.: Par-par for Koepka and McIlroy at the 10th, and Schauffele gets up and down for his par at the par-3 11th. On to the next.

4:00 p.m.: OK, nothing crazy on the ninth hole (unlike the past couple days), but a couple of solid two-putt pars for McIlroy and Koepka keep things the same. McIlroy makes the turn one ahead of the World No. 1, while Xander, who just hit his first(!) fairway of the day on No. 10, is another shot back.

3:51 p.m.: McIlroy converts his par putt from five feet, taking advantage of that incredible break. He does see his lead cut in half, however, as Brooks makes one heck of a bounceback birdie on the difficult par 4 eighth. It's now McIlroy -16, Koepka -15, Schauffele -14 as we near the end of the front nine.

3:48 p.m.: More craziness at East Lake! After a beautiful drive on No. 8, McIlroy tugs his approach and it appears he's headed toward the water when his ball hits the edge of a drain and stays in the rough.

That's the kinda thing that wins tournaments, folks. And in this case, wins people fortunes.

3:38 p.m.: As expected, Koepka makes double after playing from his provisional tee shot. It's his first double bogey or worse in 142 holes. Moments later, McIlroy makes from 20 feet for birdie! A three-shot swing as he takes the lead for the first time. Wow.

3:32 p.m.: Brooks Koepka is going to lose his lead after losing his golf ball. The stunning sequence occurs on No. 7 with a pulled tee shot that was never found. Koepka played a perfect provisional so he doesn't have to go back to the tee, but he'll be playing his third from the fairway from near McIlroy's tee shot. Up ahead, Schauffele makes a tremendous par save with a beautiful pitch shot to tap-in range. Xander still hasn't hit a fairway yet.

3:21 p.m.: Koepka and McIlroy both birdie No. 6 as well. Brooks hit his second shot fat out of a fairway bunker, but hit a great third to four feet. McIlroy came up short on his approach, but chipped to tap-in range.

3:14 p.m.: Schauffele and Casey follow Thomas with birdies on the easy par-5 sixth. Schauffele regains a share of the lead while Casey gets back to within five shots. Behind them Brooks will play his second from a fairway bunker while Rory is in perfect position.

3:03 p.m.: Justin Thomas makes a much-needed birdie on the par-5 sixth to stay within touch of the leaders. Back to 11 under where he started the round, Thomas is still four shots behind Brooks Koepka.

2:55 p.m.: Koepka hits his first green of the day, but winds up having to make a five-footer for par. Nothing has been easy for the World No. 1 yet, but he still has the lead. McIlroy makes another par as well so the top three remain unchanged through four holes.

2:48 p.m.: That hot putter has cooled down for Xander after those opening two holes. Schauffele missed from 10 feet for birdie on No. 3 and from about the same distance for par on No. 4. He's back to 14 under, one back of Brooks Koepka.

2:42 p.m.: Wow! Brooks Koepka gets up and down again, this time draining a 30-foot par putt to remain at 15 under.

McIlroy follows him by sinking a 10-foot curler for par also to stay at 14 under. That's three missed greens and three up-and-down pars for Brooks to start.

2:31 p.m.: Koepka gets up and down again on the par-3 2nd, while McIlroy misses a good birdie look from 15 feet. Up ahead, Schauffele misses from even closer to remain tied at the top at 15 under.

2:23 p.m.: The final pairing of Koepka and McIlroy begin with a pair of pars made in very different fashion. Koepka was in trouble off the tee, but played short of the green, hit a beautiful spinning pitch shot and converted a slick four-footer. McIlroy hit two beautiful shots, but came up just short on his 15-foot birdie attempt.

2:19 p.m.: Xander comes out on fire with the putter. After making a 10-footer for par on 1, he rams in a 20-footer for birdie on No. 2. Schauffele, the 2017 Tour Championship winner, is now tied for the lead with Brooks Koepka.

2:12 p.m.: Xander Schauffele begins with a blocked tee shot and an approach that comes up well short. He pitches to 10 feet and makes the par putt on what is playing as a very difficult opening hole. Playing partner Paul Casey makes bogey to fall back to 10 under. So suddenly the trio of Brooks Koepka (-15), Rory McIlroy (-14), and Xander (-14) have a four-shot cushion over Thomas and Casey.

2:02 p.m.: Remember when Justin Thomas started this tournament with a two-shot lead? Well, he's got some serious work to do now after an opening bogey to start his final round. Thomas is now back to 10 under, the same score he began the event, and trails leader Brooks Koepka by five.

1:55 p.m.: By now you're probably sick of hearing about the Tour Championship winner receiving $15 million, but everyone else playing will make a decent check as well (Fifth place gets $2.5 million—more than any other first-place prize on the PGA Tour!). Here's a breakdown of that record $60-million prize pool.

1:49 p.m.: Watch out for that eighth hole (formerly No. 17), by the way. In addition to Justin Rose's quad, Dustin Johnson made a triple bogey. Speaking of DJ, the struggles continue for the former World No. 1. At four over through 12 holes today and 11 over for the tournament, he's in last place. By three shots.

1:41 p.m.: After birdieing four of his first seven holes, Justin Rose misses the green at the Par-4 eighth. The Brit narrowly avoids the water where Bill Haas hit his miraculous shot in 2011 and then flubs three consecutive pitch shots that roll back to his feet. He gives all four shots back with a quadruple bogey.

"He's spending some cash," NBC's Paul Azinger said. With a record amount of prize money on the line, this will be the theme of the day.


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