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McIlroy secures first victory since 2019

Rory McIlroy plays into the green at the seventh hole in the final round
-10 R McIlroy (NI), -9 A Ancer (Mex); -8 V Hovland (Nor), K Mitchell (US); -7 G Woodland (US); -5 L List (US), P Reed (US), M Wallace (Eng), -4 B DeChambeau (US), A Wise (US)
Selected others: -3 B Watson (US); -2 T Fleetwood (Eng), X Schauffele (US); -1 R Knox (Sco); Level J Thomas (US); +4 S Power (Ire); +6 S Lowry (Ire); +7 P Mickelson (US) Full leaderboard

Rory McIlroy brought his winless drought to an end by clinching the Wells Fargo Championship title at Quail Hollow for a third time.

The world number 15 from Northern Ireland, whose last success came in November 2019, fired a closing 68 to win by one shot on 10 under.

There was scare for McIlroy at the final hole when he took a one-shot penalty but made a winning bogey.

Abraham Ancer finished second with Victor Hovland in a tie for third.

The victory is perfect preparation for McIlroy’s bid to win a third USPGA Championship later this month, with the Northern Irishman aiming to secure a second success at Kiawah Island.

McIlroy started the day two shots behind Mitchell but moved top with a birdie, his second of the round, at the seventh and then shared the lead – first with Woodland and then Mitchell and Ancer.

Birdies at 14 and 15 saw the four-time major winner go two clear but he pulled his final drive and luckily the ball settled in a hazard two feet from a stream – McIlroy opted to take a penalty drop and it proved a wise decision as he two-putted for victory.

An improved putting performance was key to earning a 19th PGA Tour win with McIlroy not missing from six feet in all four rounds.

It’s timely boost for McIlroy, who has slipped to his lowest world ranking since 2009 and started the tournament 51st in the FedEx Cup standings.

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