Rory McIlroy made birdie on the first hole of a playoff against Xander Schauffele to win the WGC-HSBC Champions, the final World Golf Championship event of 2019. At just 30 years old, it was Rory’s 18th PGA Tour victory. Over the last thirty years, only Tiger Woods has won 18 PGA Tour titles at a younger age (24 years old).
McIlroy is one of just four players since World War II to win 18 PGA Tour titles including four major championships at age 30 or younger. The other three are Woods, Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson.
The victory was McIlroy’s 18th top-ten finish worldwide this year, his most in any season as a professional. That includes all four World Golf Championship events in 2019, making Rory the second player to finish in the top-ten in all four WGC’s in a calendar year, joining Graeme McDowell in 2014. (The current four-WGC format began in 2009.)
Since the first round of The Open concluded, McIlroy has played 37 competitive rounds worldwide. In that span, his scoring average is 67.6 and he is a combined 121 strokes under par.
One of the most remarkable streaks in golf has come to an end – Phil Mickelson is ranked outside the top-50 this week for the first time since November of 1993. The last time Mickelson was outside the top-50, Nick Faldo was the top-ranked player in the men’s game and Bernhard Langer was the reigning Masters champion.
Mickelson’s streak of consecutive weeks in the top-50 ends at 1,353. The newly-minted longest active streak now belongs to McIlroy at 573 – roughly 15 years behind Lefty’s run. If Rory were to tie Mickelson’s streak, he would need to stay in the top-50 every week from now until October of 2034.
Xander (runner-up to Rory in China) loves the biggest events: Schauffele has now finished T-6 or better 15 times in his PGA Tour career. Twelve of those finishes have come in major championships, WGCs, The Players Championship or FedExCup playoff events.
Nelly Korda won the Taiwan Swinging Skirts to become the first American with multiple wins on the LPGA this season. Nelly (three wins) and her older sister Jessica (five wins) are now the only set of sisters in LPGA history to each have multiple career victories.
Brendon Todd won the PGA Tour’s other sanctioned event this week, the inaugural Bermuda Championship. Todd is a story of perseverance: in 41 starts from 2016 through 2018, he missed 37 cuts. As recent as this February, Todd was ranked outside the top-2,000 in the world.
Todd ranked 10th in the field in greens in regulation and 4th in driving accuracy in his win in Bermuda, an elite ball-striking performance. In 2016, a year where he missed 23 cuts in 25 starts, he ranked 184th of 185 players on the PGA Tour in strokes gained tee-to-green per round.