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Golf: McIlroy threatens 59, wins Canadian Open by seven shots

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Golf: McIlroy threatens 59, wins Canadian Open by seven shots
May 16, 2019; Bethpage, NY, USA; Rory McIlroy plays his shot from the fourth tee during the first round of the PGA Championship golf tournament at Bethpage State Park - Black Course. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports   -   Copyright  Brad Penner(Reuters)
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(Reuters) – Rory McIlroy threatened to shoot 59 as he made his Canadian Open debut a great one, clinching a massive seven-stroke victory in Ontario on Sunday.

Needing to birdie the par-four 18th to card golf’s magic number, the Northern Irishman pushed his approach into a bunker at Hamilton Golf & Country Club and made a bogey.

Nevertheless, McIlroy carded a stellar nine-under-par 61 in a near-perfect confidence-booster ahead of next week’s U.S. Open at Pebble Beach.

“Obviously this is a huge tournament to win, I’m very proud of myself, but going forward for this season, to play the way I did in a final round like this, I’m going to take a lot from this and I’m excited for next week,” McIlroy told CBS television in a greenside interview as the huge crowd chanted his name.

“I said from the start I wanted to be aggressive. I played with so much freedom yesterday and I just wanted to keep that going today. Tied for the lead going out and playing with that freedom, it gives me so much confidence.”

McIlroy finished at 22-under 258, while Irishman Shane Lowry (67) and American Webb Simpson (68) tied for second place on 15-under.

(Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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