Sunday's golf: McIlroy defends Canadian Open title in strong LIV response

Associated Press

Toronto — Rory McIlroy won the RBC Canadian Open on Sunday and gave the PGA Tour a strong response to the start of the Saudi-funded LIV Golf Invitational, closing with an 8-under 62 to win a wild race to the finish with Justin Thomas and Tony Finau.

McIlroy had his first title defense on the PGA Tour, even if he had to wait for it. He won golf’s fourth-oldest national open in 2019 at Hamilton Golf & Country Club, only for the the COVID-19 pandemic to cancel the next two editions.

Thomas pushed him to the end at St. George’s Golf & Country Club, and the tournament effectively ended on the 17th hole. McIlroy and Thomas were tied and in the rough. McIlroy hit a wedge that rolled out to tap-in range, while Thomas missed a 10-foot par putt, a two-shot swing. Thomas closed with a pair of bogeys and still shot 64.

McIlroy finished at 19-under 261 for a two-stroke victory.

Finau holed a 40-foot birdie putt on the 18th for a 64 to finish second alone.

Thomas was third at 14 under. Justin Rose matched the tournament- and course-record with a 60 — with three eagles and three bogeys — to tie for fourth with Sam Burns (65) at 14 under.

McIlroy has been one of the strongest opponents of the LIV Golf series and spoke out against the money being paid to players like Phil Mickelson and Dustin Johnson. Greg Norman, who runs the LIV Golf, said in a story in the Washington Post that McIlroy had been “brainwashed” by the PGA Tour.

McIlroy won for the second time this season and 21st on the PGA Tour.

Rose was 11 under with three holes to play. He bogeyed the 16th, hit to 2 feet on 17 for birdie, then went over the green on 18 and missed an 18-foot par putt. Carl Pettersson also shot 60 at St. George’s in his 2010 victory.

LPGA Tour

Galloway Township, N.J. — Brooke Henderson eagled the first hole of a playoff with Lindsey Weaver-Wright to win the ShopRite LPGA Classic for her 11th tour title.

Henderson closed with a bogey-free 7-under 64 at Seaview Hotel and Golf Club to win for the first time in a year. The 24-year-old Canadian overcame a four-shot deficit in the final round, finishing at 12-under 201.

Brooke M. Henderson, of Canada, kisses the trophy after winning the ShopRite LPGA Classic golf tournament, Sunday, June 12, 2022, in Galloway, N.J.

Weaver-Wright, a 28-year-old American still looking for her first tour win, forced the playoff with birdies on four of the last six holes, including a long one at No. 17 and a 10-footer at the par-5 final hole for a 65.

Jodi Eward Shadoff was a stroke back after a 67.

PGA Champions Tour

Madison, Wis. — Thongchai Jaidee became the first Thai winner in PGA Tour Champions history, closing with a 4-under 68 for a one-stroke victory in the American Family Insurance Championship.

A week after playing his way into the event with a 10th-place finish in Iowa, the 52-year-old Thongchai won in his 19th start on the 50-and-over tour.

Thongchai rebounded from a bogey on the par-5 16th with a birdie on the par-3 17th and closed with a par. He finished at 14-under 202 at University Ridge.

Tom Pernice Jr. was second after a 66.