Rory McIlroy dominates Xander Schauffele, field for 4th Wells Fargo title as PGA Championship looms

Rory McIlroy was dialed in on Sunday at one of his favorite courses while securing his fourth career victory at the Wells Fargo Championship.

The four-time major winner carded five birdies and two eagles en route to a 6-under round at Charlotte’s Quail Hollow Club, which will host the PGA Championship next year for the second time. The runaway Sunday secured a 17-under finish for the tournament and a five-stroke victory over second-place finisher Xander Schauffele.

Schauffele entered Sunday with a one-stroke lead over McIlroy at 12-under par. Playing in the final group, the two were tied after nine holes. McIlroy went on to card two eagles and two birdies on the back nine, while Schauffele finished the back nine at 1-over. The win at Quail Hollow was McIlroy’s fourth since 2010.

“I just went on a run that for whatever reason I’m able to go on at this golf course,” McIlroy told CBS after his win. “Quail Hollow, Charlotte, in general has been really good to me over my career. This is just another great day to add to all the rest of them.”

McIlroy’s dominant win arrives days ahead of the PGA Championship, which will be played next week at the Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Kentucky. The most recent of McIlroy’s’ four major victories took place when Valhalla last hosted the PGA Championship in 2014.

“At a golf course that I’m comfortable at, my golf swing feels a lot more comfortable than it has done,” McIlroy continued. “So, going to a venue next week where I’ve won, it feels like the stars are aligning a little bit. I’ve got a lot of golf to play and a lot of great players to try to beat next week.

“But going into the next major of the year feeling really good about myself.”

Sizzling back 9 secures victory for McIlroy

As McIlroy played the first seven holes at par, Schauffele opened with pars on holes 1-5 then bogeyed 6 and eagled 7 to extend his lead to two strokes at 13-under. McIlroy countered with birdies on 8 and 9 to tie Schauffele at 13-under at the turn. Then he took over.

McIlroy reached the par-5 10th in two, then sank a long putt to take a two-stroke lead at 15-under.

EAGLE FOR RORY MCILROY!!

He takes the solo lead @WellsFargoGolf pic.twitter.com/2b10FvQ3vE — Golf on CBS ⛳ (@GolfonCBS) May 12, 2024

He went on to birdie 13 and 14th before securing his second eagle of the back nine. This time he did it from the green-side bunker on the par 5 15th.

ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!

Rory just can’t miss!! @WellsFargoGolf pic.twitter.com/5V9aPjuE1A — Golf on CBS ⛳ (@GolfonCBS) May 12, 2024

McIlroy lifted his right arm in triumph to a standing ovation after he softly landed his ball on the green from the bunker and watched it drop into the hole. The eagle extended his lead over Schauffele to seven strokes at 19-under, and the tournament was all but over.

When McIlroy hit his approach shot on 18 into the water, it didn’t matter. He fell short of the 72-hole course record of -19, but his double bogey on the final hole made no difference in the final standings. He was greeted at the 18th green with a chant of “Rory, Rory, Rory!” despite the wet ball.

The win was the second in two events for McIlroy after he won the Zurich Classic of New Orleans on April 28. He now moves up to fourth in the FedEx Cup standings behind Scottie Scheffler, Schauffele and Wyndham Clark. He’s hitting his stride just in time to compete for his fifth career major.

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