What you missed: Rory’s win, Hovland gets his Tour card, and Koepka’s ESPN Body shoot


What you missed: From Rory’s $15million win to Brooks Koepka replying to the critics about his upcoming ESPN Body issue 

Rory McIlroy found himself in the final group of the Tour Championship for the second year in a row, only this time the crowds racing to watch the group on the 18th were chanting his name instead of Tiger’s. 

McIlroy came from behind at the start of the week to win his second FedEx Cup, besting World No.1 Brooks Koepka in a reverse of what happened a few weeks ago at the WGC FedEx St Jude. 

But Koepka was in the headlines for more than just his golf game this week, as he confirmed suspcisions that the considerable weight he lost earlier in the year was for the upcoming ESPN Body issue by posting a naked photo on his instagram. 

Elsewhere, Erik Van Rooyen earned his first title on the European Tour, Viktor Hovland secured his PGA Tour card for next season, and the U.S Solheim Cup squad is completed

Rory McIlroy earns $15million for winning Tour Championship and FedEx Cup

Rory McIlroy earned his third victory of the year and became the second player to win the FedEx Cup twice with a four-shot win at the Tour Championship on Sunday. 

McIlroy had 31 holes of golf to complete on Sunday after play was suspended during round three after spectators were injured in a lightning strike, and finished on shot behind Brooks Koepka heading in to the final round. 

An early three-shot swing at the seventh hole put McIlroy at the top of the leaderboard as the World No.1 faltered, and he soon opened up a four-shot gap. The 30-year-old had to overcome a late bogey run but made a crucial par at the 16th and birdied the 72nd hole to earn the biggest monetary prize in golf history as he finished four clear of Xander Schauffle.

It was McIlroy’s 14th top 10 from 19 starts this season, his most consistent year to date, and third victory following wins at The Players Championship and RBC Canadian Open. And for the new FedEx Cup staggered scoring system, it was justification (at least for this year): McIlroy won the tournament despite starting five strokes behind Justin Thomas at the start of the week, and would have also won the tournament in regular scoring too.

Such a cool way to end what has been for me a great season,” McIlroy said afterwards. 

“I’ve given myself so many chances, and to win three times is awesome. I feel like I could have won more. But to win the FedEx Cup again, to persist the whole way throughout the year, to keep giving myself chances even when I was getting knocked back and not be denied, I’m very proud of myself, and I’m going to enjoy this one tonight.”


Viktor Hovland earns PGA Tour card at Korn Ferry Tour finals

Viktor Hovland will be joining fellow up and coming stars Collin Morikawa and Matthew Wolff on the PGA Tour next season after earning his Tour card at the Korn Ferry Tour finals.

The 21-year-old from Norway, who won the 2018 U.S Amatauer Champion and earned low amateur honours at both the Masters and U.S. Open this year, birdied the 72nd hole at the Boise Open on Sunday to finish in a tie for second with Brandon Hagy. 

Hovland, who turned professional in June and began his career with a T54 at the Travelers Championship, had three top 20s and a T4 at the Wyndham Championship in five PGA Tour starts but was left needing to gain his card at the Korn Ferry Tour finals. 

It took him two events to do so, finishing T11 in the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship before a T2 on Sunday to Matthew Nesmith. 

“I was trying to win the golf tournament. I’m a little disappointed that I didn’t perform better today,” said Hovland. “There were some guys that went low today and played well, but I felt like I left some shots out there. That’s always a little disappointing but I think in a couple of days I will refresh and be happy about going to the TOUR.”

Erik Van Rooyen wins maiden title on European Tour

Erik Van Rooyen closed out his first European Tour victory in impressive style, rolling in a tricky 15 foot birdie putt at the 72nd hole to beat Matt Fitzpatrick to the Scandinavian Invitation title by a single shot. 

The South African, who had already finished 2nd three times this season, held a one-shot overnight lead but was quickly caught by Fitzpatrick and home favourite Henrik Stenson, who made a hole in one at the sixth. 

Van Rooyen reestablished a two-shot lead by the turn, and that lead had increased to three with just three holes to play. Fitzpatrick then made back-to-back birdies and Van Rooyen three-putted the 17th, leaving him in need of that final birdie to win, as a par would have seen him in a playoff with the 2016 champion.

“It’s too good, it’s hard to describe,” Van Rooyen said. 

“I was so nervous on 18. On 17 I was fine, I just didn’t hit that putt hard enough and then I asked (caddie) Alex, ‘what are we at?’ and he told me that Matt went birdie-birdie.

“I’ve been putting so well all day and to hole that one to win my first one is pretty cool.

“I’ve gone close a bunch of times and every time I’m in contention the question gets asked. I’m just so proud of myself and Alex and everybody, I’m over the moon.”

Brooks Koepka posts naked photos ahead of ESPN Body issue feature

Before he struggled during the final round at the Tour Championship, World No.1 Brooks Koepka revealed a sneak peak at the nude photo’s he has taken as part of this year’s ESPN body issue. 

Koepka, who was criticised for his ‘reckless self sabotage’ earlier in the year after he admitted he lost nearly 20 pounds in weight for the photoshoot through gym work, meal plans and counting calories, posted a picture to his instagram account ahead of the Tour Championship. 

It received a lot of mixed attention -and one poster courtesy of Dustin Johnson in his parking space – but Koepka insisted it was something he was proud of. 

“It’s one of those things where all these people that talk crap and whatever on social media, they don’t have the balls to do it, and they wouldn’t look that good,” he said on Thursday. 

“It was something I enjoyed,” Koepka said of the shoot. “I was looking forward to it for months. It’s something I definitely don’t regret doing. It’s been enjoyable to see the pictures over the last couple of months and see, I guess, all the hard work I put into it and see the results.”

He will become the fourth male golfer to appear in ESPN’s Body Issue, which is out on September 4.


Automatic Qualifying complete and wildcards for U.S Solheim Cup side 

Annie Park earned her spot as the fifth rookie in Captain Julie Inkster’s side for the contest against Europe in September’s Solheim Cup as the first 10 players were confirmed at the end of the CP Women’s Open. 

She narrowly made the squad after Amy Olson failed to make a final hole birdie, joining Brittany Altomare, Megan Khang, Marina Alex and Nelly Korda as first time Solheim players. 

Angel Yin, who was a Captain’s pick in 2017, qualified She, like Jessica Korda and Danielle Kang, have previous experience but are making their way to compete for the trophy in Europe for the first time. Lexi Thompson and Lizette Salas are the only players with experience overseas.

In comparison, Catriona Matthew’s European squad consists of three rookies in the 12-person team, having announced both Celine Boutier and Bronte Law as two of her wildcard picks. 

Inkster opted for experience with her wildcard picks, selecting Morgan Pressel and Stacy Lewis to complete the 12-person team.

US Solheim Cup Squad

Lexi Thompson
Nelly Korda
Danielle Kang
Lizette Salas
Jessica Korda
Marina Alex
Megan Khang
Brittany Altomare
Angel Yin
Annie Park

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