McIllroy Ends 18 Months Without Winning At Quail Hollow
Monday, May 10, 2021
Rory McIlroy finally won when he least expected it, and it was as sweet as he could have imagined.
Only after he hung on for a one-shot victory in the Wells Fargo Championship, his first title in 18 months, did he reveal his neck locked up during his final practice session and if not for a late tee time Thursday, he would have had to withdraw.
And when he seized control Sunday afternoon with back-to-back birdies from the bunker down the stretch, he started to get ahead of himself thinking how cool it would be to see his wife and 8-month-old daughter waiting to celebrate with him on their first Mother's Day.
The finishing stretch at Quail Hollow snapped him back to reality. He hit a 7-iron safely over the water on the 17th, and caddie Harry Diamond wisely talked him into taking a penalty drop from a dangerous lie in a hazard on the closing hole. He two-putted from 45 feet for bogey, a 3-under 68 and a one-shot victory.
Abraham Ancer finished runner-up for the fourth time in his career as he seeks his first title. Ancer wasn't part of the picture until he ran off three straight birdies late that briefly gave him a share of the lead, and nearly closed with a fourth birdie when his 35-foot putt on No. 18 grazed the lip. He shot 66.
His last victory was the HSBC Champions in Shanghai on November 3, 2019. His next start is in two weeks at Kiawah Island for the PGA Championship, where he set the record in 2012 with an eight-shot victory.
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