Rory McIlroy managed to hold off Kurt Kitayama at Congaree Golf Club on the final day to retain the CJ Cup and regain the number 1 rank in professional golf one more time.

The Irishman finished with a total score of 17-under 267 for his 23rd PGA Tour title, just one stroke ahead of the American.

Tied with Kitayama with five holes to go, McIlroy shot three straight birdies to seize control before a late stumble saw him finish with two bogeys but the cushion was still enough for the win.

McIlroy’s final day score was 4-under 67 on the final day. He arrived on the course with a one-shot lead before Jon Rahm, the man who replaced him as the world no.1 win in 2020, gave him a run for the money before bogeying on 14th to fall behind and fall out of contention.

Kitayama then took over the challenge and remained within touching distance until the final hole when he missed his birdie putt which would have earned him a tie. His play was still good enough to earn him a third runner-up finish since joining the Tour last year.

Winning the CJ Cup closes a redemption arc for Rory McIlroy in his quest for regaining the no.1 spot. He had to win the Canadian Open and the Tour Championship to capture the FedEx Cup and was certainly helped by Scottie Scheffler finishing 45th in the same tournament.

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