Rory McIlroy and his father, Gerry, finished tied for first in the pro-am at the 2019 Alfred Dunhill Links Championship. And then they finished in second thanks to a tiebreaker.
The McIlroys posted a 39-under total in the four-round pro-am, tying with Tommy Fleetwood and his amateur partner Ogden Phipps. But, there can’t be any ties in golf tournaments. The European Tour needed a winner. So, there is a tiebreaker written into the rules. It amounts to a scorecard playoff, with the professional shooting the lowest score in the final round securing the title for their team.
Rory McIlroy shot 67. Tommy Fleetwood shot 64. Fleetwood and Phipps are the champions.
“We played as good as we could,” Rory McIlroy said said. “We shot 61, 62, 61 over the last three days. My dad played great. I did what I could for the team. I didn’t have my best this week. I could have maybe found a few extra shots in there.”
Rory McIlroy finished T-26 in the event, posting 15-under total on his own ball to lose by seven in the pro event to winner Victor Perez.
“We had a great time. Going into today all we were wanting to do was to try and win the team event, and we gave it a really good run,” Rory said. “He’s played really, really well. He’s had a great time as we’ve both had. It’s been fun to get back here and this is probably the first time we’ve been in contention to win the team event, as well, so it was good fun.”
The reigning FedEx Cup champion said he was unaware of the tiebreaker.
“We didn’t actually know that it was the lowest pro’s score, which I think is a little unfair – it should be the lowest team score and we would have won,” McIlroy said.
Who knows, maybe that was the second tiebreaker.
For his part, Fleetwood said his partner leaned on him in the final few holes.
“I was nervous. I said to Ogden, we had five holes left, and he said, ‘I’m going to need you on these last few.’ He was nervous coming down the stretch but we did great,” Fleetwood said. “To win it, it would be brilliant. It means a lot when it’s not just yourself and it’s a partnership.”