May 20, 2024

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Rory McIlroy won the Wells Fargo Championship for a record fourth time Sunday, overcoming a two-stroke deficit top beat Xander Schauffele by five strokes.

No other player has won the event more than twice.

McIlroy closed with a 6-under 65, playing the final 11 holes in 6 under even with a double bogey on the 18th hole. He finished at 17-under 267 after four straight rounds in the 60s and won his second straight PGA Tour event after teaming with Shane Lowry to take the Zurich Classic two weeks ago in New Orleans.

Schauffele shot 71.

McIlroy trailed by two after Schauffele made an eagle on the par-5 seventh, but the world’s second-ranked player quickly shifted into another gear.

The star from Northern Ireland pulled even after birdies on Nos. 8 and 9 and then made a 33-foot eagle putt on the 10th for his first lead of the tournament after Schauffele settled for birdie.

Schauffele’s bogey at 12 gave McIlroy more breathing room.

McIlroy then essentially sealed the win on 13 when he made birdie and Schauffele missed another putt for bogey, resulting in a four-shot advantage.

But McIlroy wasn’t done.

He made another birdie on 14 and then punctuated the victory by chipping in from the sand for another eagle on No. 15 to move to 19 under.

At that point the only question was if McIlroy could match his own course record of 61 and tournament record of 21 under.

He didn’t.

But he managed a smile when he blew his second shot on No. 18 over the green and into the water and had to take a drop. He tapped in for a double bogey victory as the crowd chanted his name.

McIlroy’s finish was reminiscent of 2010 when he carded six straight 3s en route to a final round 62 to beat Phil Mickleson for his first career PGA Tour win. He also won the event in 2015 and 2021.

McIlroy has long called Quail Hollow one of his favorite courses because it allows for him to take advantage of his length off the tee. But it was his putting that won him the 26th career PGA Tour title Sunday.

He needed just 25 putts, making five longer than 10 feet.

For Schauffele, it was a disappointing ending to a strong week.

He finished second for the second straight year and saw his winless drought stretch to 39 tournaments, a streak dating to 2022. He led by four shots after 36 holes.

Byeong Hun An was third at 9 under, and Jason Day and Sungjae Im tied for fourth a 6 under.

Max Homa turned in the shot of the day.

Homa holed from the rough from 213 yards for an eagle on No. 1, with his ball landing on the front of the green and rolling all the way to the back before hitting the flagstick hard and dropping in. But the two-time Wells Fargo champion couldn’t build on the momentum after that shooting 72 and finishing in ninth place.

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AP golf: https://apnews.com/hub/golf