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McIlroy Holds His Nerve for Shanghai Masters Victory

Northern Irishman beats Kim in play-off to win richest prize in golf

Posted Nov 01, 2011 by Chris White

Rory McIlroy won the 2011 Shanghai Masters

The 2011 US Open champion Rory McIlroy added the richest prize in golf to his ever-increasing list of tournament victories, sealing the Shanghai Masters title in a nail-biting play-off with Anthony Kim.

McIlroy lead by three shots at one stage, and had a chance to win the title on the 18th, but missed his eight-foot putt for birdie by a matter of inches. That meant McIlroy would have to contest a play-off with joint leader Kim of America, and both players showed a slight nervousness by driving into the bunker on the first hole. However, when Kim missed his putt, McIlroy needed to make his to win and duly obliged to seal the £1.24million ($2million) prize.

Neither the European or PGA Tour sanction the competition, but thirty players took part in the invitational, and Hunter Mahan tied for third place with Noh Seung-yul of South Korea.

Lee Westwood hit a hole-in-one on the 12th hole, and seven birdies for a 67 to finish at 12-under, six shots behind the leading duo. After three rounds of superb golf from McIlroy, the world number three found himself struggling just like at the Masters earlier this year, finding water and sand while missing several putts that he made with ease earlier in the competition. Having thrown away the lead, he shot a final round level-par 72, with world number 82 Kim shooting 69 to force the play-off.

McIlroy said afterwards “It’s nice to finally get over the line in a tournament because I’ve been close on so many occasions lately. This was the third play-off of my career, and I managed to win this one, which proves my nerve is getting better in these situations. I’m just delighted with another win to be honest.”

Will McIlroy reach the number one spot? Will the Northern Irishman ever conquer his obvious nerves which hamper his chances of victory? Have your say here, or on Twitter @ImagineGolfClub and on Facebook by clicking here.

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