Rory McIlroy shoots round of his career to win Canadian Open 9 months ago

Rory McIlroy shoots round of his career to win Canadian Open

By God, he throttled that course and the entire chasing pack.

When Rory McIlroy is in the zone, very few golfers in the world can live with him.

In Hamilton, Ontario - in the final round of the RBC Canadian Open - McIlroy was in the zone and playing golf like he was lording it up on a console and had all the cheat codes. He was heading for 59 but had to settle for 61.

The Holywood native set off with American Ryder Cup star Webb Simpson with Matt Kuchar on the same starting score of -13 and Offaly's Shane Lowry one back.

While the rest of the top 10 struggled to get going, McIlroy hit hyper-drive and never let up. He blitzed five birdies going out and reached the turn in just 30 strokes.

(Photo by Getty Images)

Lowry was emerging as the likeliest contender to McIlroy but, in reality, he never really got close enough to cause any wobbles.

McIlroy reeled off four more birdies from the 11th to the 14th and reached -22 with four holes to play.

Just as onlookers started to whisper about a McIlroy round on 59, his charge was slowed by a par on 15 and his first bogey of the round on the 16th.

Then, on 17, McIlroy bombed a 320-yard drive and pinged a 7-iron approach to within three feet before getting the tap-in eagle to go -10 for his round.

On the 18th, McIlroy found the greenside bunker but went for it with his third. It wafted by the hole so he had to settle for a bogey and a closing round of 61 to win by 7 shots from Lowry and Simpson (-15).

Elsewhere, there was a Top 10 finish for Graeme McDowell that sealed him a place at The Open, which takes place at his home course at Portrush next month.

McDowell has been in fine form these past few months and he carded a closing round of 68 to finish -10 for the tournament. A clutch putt for par was needed on the 18th but, from a monster 35 feet out, McDowell held his nerve.

(Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)

With the likes of Kuchar, Simpson, Dustin Johnson, Justin Thomas, Brandt Snedeker, Henrik Stenson, Danny Willett and Brooks Koepka all in the field, McIlroy and Lowry's 1-2 is some going.

McIlroy has shot 63 (in the 2010 Open Championship) and an -11 score of 61 (in 2015 at the Wells Fargo Championship) before but this was the lowest round of his pro career.

McDowell's fine finish was the cherry on top.