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12D AGO

Rory McIlroy plays eight holes in 8-under, wins fourth time at Quail Hollow

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    Written by Sean Martin @PGATOURSMartin

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. – When Xander Schauffele made eagle at Quail Hollow’s seventh hole Sunday, he held a two-shot lead over Rory McIlroy.

    Rory responded with the sort of run that few players can produce. He played the next eight holes in 8-under par to put an early end to the Wells Fargo Championship. McIlroy took a six-shot lead into the Green Mile, the course’s famed closing stretch. McIlroy followed that stretch with a par-par-double bogey finish for a comfortable five-stroke victory over Xander Schauffele at 17-under 267.

    McIlroy’s comeback started immediately. The two players were tied when they made the turn, and McIlroy was four shots ahead when they walked off the 13th green. If they were playing match play, McIlroy would’ve won seven of the next eight holes starting at No. 8.

    McIlroy’s comeback started with a 12-foot birdie putt at the short eighth hole. Schauffele missed a 10-footer of his own. Then McIlroy hit his 162-yard approach on the ninth hole to 11 feet and made that one, as well. He played the first six holes of the back nine in 6-under par, including eagles on both par 5s.


    Rory McIlroy drains 33-footer for eagle to take the lead at Wells Fargo


    Schauffele hit an incredible shot from the fairway bunker on the par-5 10th, but missed his 12-foot eagle putt after McIlroy made one from 34 feet.

    It was a thrilling stretch. Schauffele and McIlroy were a combined 7-under on the four-hole stretch from Nos. 7-10, making two eagles and three birdies.

    After his eagle on No. 10, McIlroy saved par on the next two holes after missing both the fairway and green, then birdied the par-3 13th after hitting his tee shot to 14 feet. Schauffele made bogeys on 12 and 13, and McIlroy gained another shot with a birdie at the par-4 14th. There was no let-up on 15, where McIlroy holed his greenside bunker shot for his second eagle of the back nine.


    Rory McIlroy holes out from bunker for eagle at Wells Fargo


    The win marked McIlroy’s second in a row after his victory at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans alongside Shane Lowry and McIlroy’s 26th on the PGA TOUR.

    Sean Martin is a senior editor for the PGA TOUR. He is a 2004 graduate of Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo. Attending a small school gave him a heart for the underdog, which is why he enjoys telling stories of golf's lesser-known players. Follow Sean Martin on Twitter.

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