Rory McIlroy shoots 61 to win Canadian Open ahead of US Open

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Graeme McDowell couldn't play a golf tournament in 2019 without being asked about not yet having qualified for this year's Open Championship at Royal Portrush, a course he could walk as a youngster growing up in Northern Ireland.

McIlroy made four straight birdies on the back nine, starting at the par-four 11th, to put himself in contention to become just the sixth player in history to win a tournament with closing score of 59. Shane finished in a tie for 8th at the last Major, the PGA Championship.

There was something familiar about this one.

"We messaged back and forth a little bit this week", said McIlroy, who watched Toronto's two wins in Oakland, Calif., on television between rounds of Canada's national golf championship.

Rory McIlroy's great shot leads to a birdie on the 15th hole, he's tied for the lead with 2 other golfers heading into the final round.

Given the nature of the Northern Irishman's success in the Canadian Open on Sunday, where he romped away from the field for a seven-stroke victory with a final round 61, it is perhaps unsurprising that the bookmakers have reacted accordingly.

But will the supporters at this week's US Open, at Pebble Beach, California, be as impressed? "I'm just going to know my game's in good shape and try to win another Major".

You could say it's worked out. "I think I left every putt a foot short yesterday", said Snedeker, who had a 1-under 69 in the opening round.

"I think when you play, you get into stretches like this, you do get into some sort of flow, that flow state or in the zone or whatever anyone wants to call it".

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"If I made a couple extra birdies on the back nine on Friday I would've made the cut and could have produced a weekend like this and won the tournament".

Elsewhere, there was a Top 10 finish for Graeme McDowell that sealed him a place at The Open, which takes place at his home course at Portrush next month.

Fellow Canadian Mackenzie Hughes (71, T14) also had a good week.

"It answers all the questions for me for the next few weeks", said a delighted McDowell after the final round.

It's also the sixth national open he has won, joining the U.S. Open, British Open, Hong Kong Open, Australian Open and Irish Open.

Nevertheless, McIlroy carded a stellar nine-under-par 61 to finish 22-under 258 in a near-perfect confidence-booster for the US Open, which tees off at Pebble Beach on Thursday. "I've really enjoyed my time here". "I putted really well. I think my game is in a good spot". Coming into this week, he ranked 59th in that statistic for the season. He experienced it during runaway victories at the U.S. Open and the PGA Championship.

"I was a little nervous over the six-iron going into the last".

McIlroy added the Canadian Open to his schedule for the first time largely because it was moved to the week before the US Open.

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