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Thursday 20 June 2019

McIlroy comes up short in windy LA

Rory McIlroy
Rory McIlroy

Rory McIlroy came close, but the Genesis Open crown ultimately belonged to JB Holmes on a dramatic final day in California.

The Northern Irishman handled inclement conditions and rose into second with Justin Thomas late on Sunday afternoon, but he slipped back into fourth by the close of play.

American Holmes rallied from a four-shot deficit as the weather-blighted tournament drew to a close.

He picked up two shots and dropped one on the way out before carding a birdie and a bogey as he headed back to the club house.

The one-under 70 saw him at 14 under for the tournament, one shot ahead of Thomas who had led for a time, and sealed his fifth PGA win.

McIlroy carded a 69 to finish on 11 under overall, while further down the leaderboard Tiger Woods tied 15th after carding 72 (six under overall) and Englishmen Paul Casey and Tommy Fleetwood finished tied 25 and tied 28th respectively (five and four under).

Holmes said it must have been exciting for fans to watch.

"We wanted to put on a good show for everybody, so me and Justin thought we'd three-putt a couple of times from short distances," Holmes joked in a greenside interview.

Exciting

"It's the way you want to win, come down the end and hit shots and make some key putts. It had to be exciting to watch."

Thomas lamented his inability to handle the gusts on the greens and thought he had gifted the title to Holmes.

"It's something I've needed to get better at and it unfortunately showed a flaw in my game," he told reporters.

"JB won, he played great but it's always a bummer to hand a tournament. I feel like I should have won that thing."

Speaking to reporters in LA, McIlroy confirmed he hadn't yet rejoined the European Tour for the 2019 season "for one reason or another" but that he would likely renew membership by the time he plays his first tournament in Europe in May, expected to be the British Masters.

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