Rory McIlroy takes The Players Championship title and $2.25 million first-prize

Key Points
  • Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy wins The Players Championship, known as golf’s “unofficial fifth major” title.
  • Florida win is McIlroy’s first for a year and nets him $2.25 million in winnings.
  • McIlroy is now favorite for April’s Masters tournament, where victory would secure him a career Grand Slam of major wins.
Rory McIlroy salutes fans after putting on the fifth hole green during the final round of The Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass on March 17, 2019 in Florida.
Keyur Khamar | US PGA TOUR | Getty Images

Rory McIlroy's first professional golf title in a year at The Players Championship netted him a cool $2.25 million in prize money and installed him as favorite for next month's Masters tournament in Augusta.

"I feel like I'm playing some of the best golf of my life right now and I just need to keep doing the same things," he told UK host broadcaster Sky Sports after his win.

McIlroy eventually came out on top after a thrilling final day at Florida's tough TPC Sawgrass course saw him finish just one shot ahead of last year's beaten US Ryder Cup captain Jim Furyk.

At one stage during Sunday's play there were 15 players within two shots of the lead. McIlroy himself had to overcome an early double-bogey before his fightback saw him pencil in a two-under-par 70.

The Northern Irishman is the fifth European to win The Players Championship and only the second British golfer, after Scotsman Sandy Lyle triumphed in 1987.

In early April, McIlroy will tee off at The Masters, a tournament that grants him his fifth opportunity to join the most elite group in golf by completing the career Grand Slam. He's had success at all of the sports three other majors, including two PGA Championship titles, but the famous Augusta Green Jacket has eluded him.

Despite previously not having a title to show for his efforts in 2019, McIlroy form backed up his own claim he was more than happy with his game. Last week he finished in a tie for 6th at the Arnold Palmer invitational, to go along with 4 other top-five finishes on the PGA Tour this year.

The 29-year-old has now won more than $4.5 million from the seven events he's played this year and is also the early front-runner in the FedEx Cup standings, for which there is a $10 million bonus up got grabs at the end of the season.

The Masters winner will receive a check for $1.98 million in 2019 and according to oddschecker.com, McIlroy is now 8-to-1 favorite for the tournament.

The Northern Irishman's next engagement before The Masters is in Austin, Texas at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play tournament over the last weekend in March.

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