Rory McIlroy a winner once more
Rory McIlroy solidified his position in the European Ryder Cup rankings after winning his first tournament in 553 days at the Wells Fargo Championship on the PGA TOUR.
Although currently sitting in the final automatic place on the European Points List with 3,885.19 points, McIlroy did jump one place on the World Points List and into second with 340.27 points – meaning he would qualify via the World Points List regardless of his position in the European Points List as things stand.
Rounds of 72-66-68-68 saw the five-time Team Europe player win for the 19th time on the PGA TOUR, his third victory at the Wells Fargo Championship – the first time he’s won the same tournament on three occasions.
Decision-making was the order of the week, with McIlroy showing his experience on the final hole when he decided to take a drop after his tee shot ended up nestling in the thick rough inside a red hazard line.
After lengthy deliberations with caddie Harry Diamond, Rory hit an 8-iron to 45ft and comfortably lagged the putt to a few inches to avoid a play-off with Mexico’s Abraham Ancer.
Quail Hollow Golf Course has always been a memorable one for McIlroy, as it was the scene of his breakthrough victory on the PGA TOUR when he won his first title by eight strokes back in 2010.
“Yeah, this place has been good to me,” McIlroy said. “Ever since I first set eyes on this golf course, I loved it from the first time I played it, and that love has sort of been reciprocated back. I've played so well here over the years.
"It's never easy to win out here. It's felt like a long time since that victory in China back in 2019. The world was a completely different place than it is today, and life has changed a lot for me being a dad, and winning on Mother's Day, I'm thinking of Erica (his wife) and thinking of my mum back home.
"This is one of my favourite places in the world and to break the drought and to win here again, that's awesome.”
It was another impressive week for Viktor Hovland, who finished in a tie for third for the second consecutive week on the PGA TOUR.
Consistent form which has seen the Norwegian golfer jump to fourth on the World Points List and will currently make the team as the top qualifier with 233.10 world points.
Should he make Captain Pádraig Harrington’s team at Whistling Straits in September, Hovland will become the first Norwegian golfer to represent Europe at the Ryder Cup.
Another player chasing a maiden Ryder Cup appearance is Matt Wallace, and his tied sixth finish at the Wells Fargo Championship elevated the Englishman two places and into 16th on the World Points List with 97.79 points.
From this week, at the Betfred British Masters hosted by Danny Willett on the European Tour and the AT&T Byron Nelson on the PGA TOUR, points will be multiplied by two until the conclusion of the European points race at the BMW PGA Championship in September.
As it stands Tommy Fleetwood (4,911.26 points), Jon Rahm (4,823.60 points), Tyrrell Hatton (4,726.56 points) and McIlroy (3,885.19 points) fill the automatic qualification places on the European Points List.
Meanwhile, Hovland (233.10 points), Lee Westwood (218.35 points), Matthew Fitzpatrick (189.96), Victor Perez (187.37 points) and Paul Casey (181.31 points) currently occupy the World Points List spots.