Rory McIlroy has claimed his first PGA Tour title of 2023 with a one-shot victory at the Genesis Scottish Open. The Northern Irishman produced a sensational back-nine birdie run to snatch the victory over Robert MacIntyre in windy conditions at The Renaissance Club.
Trailing by one after MacIntyre’s stunning birdie at the last, McIlroy failed to birdie the par-5 16th, leaving just the difficult par-3 17th and the challenging par-4 18th, which was playing into the teeth of a 25-mile-per-hour wind. McIlroy, however, turned them into ones.
A driving 5-iron at 17 stopped inside five feet, leading to the tying birdie. Then, with 202 yards into the 18th, McIlroy switched from a 4-iron to a 2-iron he just put in the bag for the week and proceeded to hit a laser that finished 11 feet from the cup. McIlroy made the putt to produce his first back-to-back birdies of the week and grab the win.
It’s McIlroy’s 24th career PGA Tour victory, 16th on the DP World Tour and second on both tours this season. He had been playing as well as anyone in the world the past few weeks, finishing in the top 10 in each of his previous five starts going back to the PGA Championship, including a runner-up finish at the U.S. Open.
Rory’s Performance at Genesis Scottish Open
On the 7th hole, Rory experienced gusts of winds reaching 40 miles per hour. This is something he was able to take advantage of with an impressive 427-yard drive, which is 40 yards further than any of his other drives this season.
For the week McIlroy led the field in driving distance at 331.9 yards as well as topping the field in strokes gained/off-the-tee at 5.927 shots with his 9-degree TaylorMade Stealth 2 Plus driver with a Fujikura Ventus TR Blue 6x shaft.
On the greens, McIlroy was one of the best on Sunday, gaining two strokes on the field Sunday with his TaylorMade Spider X Hydro Blast mallet putter. Among the highlights besides his final two putts was a 37-footer at the par-3 14th, putting him in position for his closing theatrics.
The 2-iron McIlroy added is TaylorMade’s P•760 bent to 17 degrees with a Project X HZRDUS Black 6.5 graphite shaft. TaylorMade’s Stealth 2 Plus is a club McIlroy has been using for the past few weeks. The carbon-composite face of this driver has received an upgrade. The amount of titanium has been reduced to just a thin frame around the carbon-composite face. This means more forgiveness and even lower spin.
McIlroy’s Previous Performances
McIlroy has been playing as well as anyone in the world the past few weeks. He finished in the top 10 in each of his previous five starts going back to the PGA Championship, including a runner-up finish at the U.S. Open.
This win at the Genesis Scottish Open is McIlroy’s second of the year and first since the Hero Dubai Desert Classic in February. The latest success is his first career win in Scotland and gives him confidence heading into The 151st Open next week at Royal Liverpool.
McIlroy will be chasing a fifth major title and first since 2014 next week at Royal Liverpool, the venue where he won The Open nine years ago.
Rory McIlroy is a talented golfer who has had an impressive career so far. His win at the Genesis Scottish Open was nothing less than impressive as he came through in the clutch. With the victory, he has established himself as a top contender for The Open Championship. As he heads into the tournament, he will be looking to build on the momentum from his recent performances and secure another major title. I’ll be looking to see what his odds are to win The Open Championship, because at this point he definitely seems like a good bet to content for the win.