Late drama handed Rory McIlroy his first ever victory in Scotland to break Bob MacIntyre’s heart.

MacIntyre tore round the Renaissance Club on Sunday, carding a final round 6-under 64 to post the clubhouse lead at 14-under.

His big finish at the Scottish Open included a sensational birdie at the final hole after hitting one of the best approach shots of his life.

After MacIntyre rolled in the birdie putt from 10 feet he clenched his fists and saluted the Scottish crowd.

All he had to do was wait to see what the aforementioned McIlroy could produce.

McIlroy endured a topsy-turvy day in North Berwick. His front nine included four bogeys and two birdies.

But on the home stretch McIlroy produced the goods and posted birdies at 11 and 14.

By the time he reached the 16th hole he was one back of McIntyre and he spurned a glorious chance to draw level.

The Northern Irishman missed a birdie putt from six feet but then went birdie-birdie to take the title.

His approach to the 72nd hole was just as good if not better than McIntyre’s, hitting a long iron cut below the breeze that rolled out to 10 feet.

In the immediate aftermath of victory McIlroy looked absolutely delighted. Tommy Fleetwood was also there to give him a hug.

The Englishman was in contention heading into the final day but struggled, posting a 72 to finish six back of McIlroy.

Elsewhere, there were top-10 finishes for Scottie Scheffler, Tom Kim, J.T. Poston, Tyrrell Hatton and Rasmus Hojgaard.

“Really proud. That was such a tough day, so tough, especially the back nine. I bogeyed my last two holes on the front nine to go to 2-over and I saw Tyrrell was making a run. Obviously Bob was making a run as well and had an unbelievable finish. To play that back nine 4-under par to win the tournament, yeah, really proud of how I just stuck in there. Hit some amazing shots down the stretch and was able to finish it off with a really nice putt there. It feels incredible. It’s been a sort of long six months I feel since I won in Dubai. I’ve given myself tons of chances, and hopefully this win sort of breaks the seal for me, especially going into next week as well.”

Of his approach into 18, he added:

“I was right between 4-iron and 2-iron. I took 3-iron out at the start of the week, and it probably was a perfect 3-iron. But 4-iron was only getting to the front edge of the green. 2-iron, had to cut it and try to get it up into the wind a little bit and I just hit this 2-iron and it came off absolutely perfectly. Probably the best shot I hit all year. It was exactly the way I wanted to play it.
“When you hit a shot like that, I felt like I deserved to hole that putt to finish it off.”

McIlroy said his victory, his 24th on the PGA Tour and 16th on the DP World Tour, was ‘up there with the best of them’.

He is now the first player to have won the Scottish Open, Irish Open and The Open Championship.

McIlroy now heads to Liverpool to attempt to break his nine-year major drought.


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