Rory McIlroy was delighted to join Tiger Woods as the only two-time winners of the FedEx Cup after his victory at the Tour Championship on Sunday.

McIlroy fired a four-under 66 in the final round at East Lake, winning by four strokes from Xander Schauffele despite briefly stumbling late.

The Northern Irishman added to his 2016 FedEx Cup title, joining Woods (2007 and 2009) as the only players to claim the crown twice.

McIlroy was thrilled to join Woods on the tally as he reflected on his victory and the ovation he received on the 18th hole.

"It was pretty cool. I turned to Harry [Diamond, caddie] when we were walking down the hill on 18 after I'd hit my second shot, and I said, 'well, this walk is a little more pleasant than last year, not running away from a stampede'," he told a news conference.

"It was cool. To have a moment like that again, I didn't play well at all last year with Tiger in that final group, so to get myself in a final group again this year.

"I thought a lot about that. I thought about the final group with Tiger last year, the final group with Brooks [Koepka] in Memphis a few weeks ago, and I really wanted to go out there and play well and really take it to him, and I did that for the most part. I went out, shot 66 on a really tough golf course and got the job done.

"Really cool, really cool to put my name on this trophy for a second time. Any time you can do something that only Tiger has done, you're doing something right.

"It was an awesome day, long day. To come back out in the morning and play 13 holes and then play that full 18, I'm going to sleep well tonight, put it that way."

McIlroy and Koepka were the final pairing, the world number one only able to shoot a two-over 72 to end up tied for third, five shots behind McIlroy.

Koepka came out on top when the pair were together during the last round at the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational a month ago and McIlroy was pleased to secure his win this time.

"I think it just gives me a little bit of an extra incentive. It wasn't that important, but once I saw I was in the final group with Brooks, it just took me back to Memphis a few weeks ago, and I felt like I learned a few lessons that day," he said.

"Not that I wasn't going to focus, but it gave me that little bit of extra – not motivation, but I wanted to right some of the wrongs that I made that Sunday in Memphis a few weeks ago, and it was a good opportunity to do it."

Rory McIlroy claimed his second FedEx Cup title despite briefly stumbling late during his four-stroke win at the Tour Championship on Sunday.

McIlroy shot a four-under 66 in the final round at East Lake in Atlanta, ending up at 18 under and clear of Xander Schauffele (70) to claim the $15million prize.

The Northern Irishman also won the FedEx Cup in 2016. He and Tiger Woods are the only golfers to win two FedEx Cups.

The 30-year-old appeared en route to an easy victory in the final round, holding a four-stroke lead through 13 holes.

But he picked up his first bogey of the round on the 14th, then bogeyed the par-three 15th. Then, he hit his drive on the par-four 16th into a fairway bunker. With his lead cut to two strokes, disaster loomed, but McIlroy saved par on 16.

He then knocked down a 16-foot putt for birdie on 17 to build a three-stroke lead.

As fans surrounded the 18th green en masse, McIlroy made a nice save from a greenside bunker, then holed a short birdie putt to finish in style.

"Such a cool way to end what for me has been a great season," McIlroy told NBC.

"I'm so thankful … I couldn't be prouder to be your 2019 FedEx Cup champion."

McIlroy's brief struggles on his back nine opened the door for Schauffele and Brooks Koepka, but they could not capitalise.

Schauffele shot a final-round 70. Koepka bogeyed 12, 13 and 14, and needed a birdie on 17 to salvage a 72 and a tie for third with Justin Thomas, five shots behind McIlroy for the title.

Thomas shot a 68 on Sunday and birdied 16 and 18 to boost his payday.

Paul Casey finished fifth, nine shots behind McIlroy, despite a final-round 72.

Adam Scott, Tony Finau and Chez Reavie finished sixth through eighth respectively, and Patrick Reed, Kevin Kisner and Hideki Matsuyama tied for ninth.

Brooks Koepka holds a one-shot lead heading into the final round of the Tour Championship as the FedEx Cup gears up for a thrilling finale.

The lightning that struck East Lake Golf Course in DeKalb County, Georgia a day earlier meant the end of third round had to be completed on Sunday.

World number one Koepka heads the pack after a two-under 68 left him at -15 for the tournament, with the final round to begin later in the day.

Koepka made three gains on the way home, including a birdie at the last, to hit the front in the race for the lucrative FedEx Cup.

There was plenty of company for Koepka, though, with Xander Schauffele and Rory McIlroy just one stroke back.

Schauffele made the first professional hole-in-one of his career at the par-three ninth as part of a three-under 67, while McIlroy's 68 means the Northern Irishman is well in contention.

Justin Thomas was leading when the weather halted play on Saturday, but the American was four shots back after signing for a 71.

He was in a tie for fourth with Paul Casey, while the likes of Jon Rahm and Hideki Matsuyama at six under surely have too much work to do.

FedEx Cup hopeful Xander Schauffele enjoyed a moment to remember in round three of the Tour Championship with a timely hole-in-one.

The American became the second player this week to ace the 240-yard par-three ninth at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta, Georgia.

Schuaffele's tee shot bounced on the green and curved round into the hole as the ace followed a birdie at the previous hole.

Lightning on Saturday meant round three was unable to be completed on schedule, so it carried over into Sunday. Brooks Koepka led at 14 under through 14 holes as play continued, one clear of Schauffele, Rory McIlroy and overnight leader Justin Thomas.

Justin Thomas retook the Tour Championship lead but he was not able to finish his third round as lightning strikes injured six spectators.

Saturday's play was ultimately suspended due to inclement weather after lightning struck East Lake Golf Course in DeKalb County, Georgia.

The PGA Tour confirmed that a pair of lightning strikes had left spectators injured. However, their injuries are not believed to be life-threatening.

Thomas was through five holes and leading by a stroke when play was halted on the penultimate day of the FedEx Cup Play-off decider.

The 2017 FedEx Cup champion, who entered the season-ending event 10 under via the new format, was off to a steady start Saturday.

Thomas – the BMW Championship winner – was even par through his first five holes and 12 under overall for the tournament, ahead of Rory McIlroy and Brooks Koepka.

The 10-time tour champion will resume play with the rest of the field on Sunday for the remainder of round three and the start of the fourth round.

Former world number one McIlroy and four-time major champion Koepka are tied for second and lurking at 11 under.

McIlroy – winner of the FedEx Cup in 2016 – was one over after five holes, while Koepka made it to two over before the weather hit.

Koepka earned a one-stroke lead at the halfway stage of the tournament on Friday, but the world number one made sloppy start to Saturday's play following two bogeys in three holes.

Xander Schauffele (through five) sits in solo fourth at 10 under, a shot clear of Chez Reavie (through seven) and Paul Casey (through six).

Dustin Johnson managed to finish his third round, but the American star carded a forgettable five-over-par 75 to be seven over and 29th in the 30-man field.

Six fans were injured by lightning strikes after the third round of the Tour Championship at East Lake was suspended due to inclement weather.

Thunderstorms in the area of the course in DeKalb County, Georgia disrupted play on Friday and Saturday.

The PGA Tour confirmed on Saturday that a pair of lightning strikes had left spectators injured. However, their injuries are not believed to be life-threatening.

A statement read: "At 4:17 p.m. [local time], the third round of the Tour Championship was suspended due to inclement weather in the area.

"At 4:45 p.m., there were two lightning strikes at East Lake Golf Club; a tree near the range/15 green/16 tee was hit, and debris from that strike injured four people.

"EMT tended to those fans and two others immediately and transported them from the property via ambulance for further medical attention. Our latest report is that their injuries do not appear to be life-threatening.

"Due to these circumstances, the third round has been suspended for the day and play will resume on Sunday at 8:00 a.m. ET.

"The safety of our fans, players and partners is of the utmost importance. We will provide further updates as they become available."

Brooks Koepka has been baffled by negative responses to him posing for a nude photograph and thinks modern golfers are held to unfair standards.

Four-time major champion Koepka posted an image from his photo shoot for ESPN's Body Issue prior to the start of the Tour Championship at East Lake.

The 29-year-old moved into a one-shot lead over Rory McIlroy and Justin Thomas after two rounds in the race for the FedEx Cup and $15million in prize money.

However, Koepka has been the butt of jokes and while he was able to see the funny side of the photo being placed over the signage for his parking space – apparently by Dustin Johnson – he questioned certain reactions he has seen on social media.

Koepka said: "I've gotten a lot of people on Twitter and Instagram [asking]: 'How in the world could you do this? You never see Arnold Palmer or Jack Nicklaus and guys like that doing that.'

"It blows my mind; golf is the only sport where you're compared to guys from other generations and how they acted, not where they are on the golf course. Golf is pretty weird that way.

"If they had social media back then, I think it would be a lot different for them, too.

"I couldn't care less what people say online. If you've got people hating you, you're doing something right."

Brooks Koepka insisted he was not yet at his best despite moving into the Tour Championship lead at the halfway mark.

The American world number one carded a three-under 67 in the second round at East Lake to push into a one-stroke lead on Friday.

Koepka, who birdied the final hole to take the outright lead, said he was getting close to his best.

"I feel better. I don't feel like I'm clicking 100 per cent, but it's definitely close," he told reporters after his round.

"There are shots where it's like, 'how did I just do that?' And there are some shots where I'm like, 'man, why can't I do that every time?' Like on 18.

"I feel good. I feel very confident. I've got no problem where I'm at. I feel very confident with the putter, which is most important."

Play was delayed for 90 minutes during the second round due to inclement weather before Koepka finished the day at 13 under – a shot ahead of Justin Thomas and Rory McIlroy.

Koepka was one of only five players to manage a round of 67 or better and the American was satisfied with his performance.

"The lead's always nice, so I'll take that. I played good today. I putted really good. Short game was pretty solid," he said.

"The rain delay kind of killed any momentum I had. I didn't feel like I had any good golf shots after the rain delay, but that's part of golf.

"Everybody's got to deal with the same thing, just didn't execute."

Brooks Koepka pushed into a one-stroke lead at the halfway mark of the Tour Championship on Friday.

The world number one carded a three-under 67 during the second round at East Lake, getting to 13 under and into the lead ahead of Justin Thomas (68) and Rory McIlroy (67).

Scoring was very difficult as only five players managed rounds of 67 or better, highlighted by Chez Reavie's six-under 64.

Koepka finished his round with a birdie at 18 to move one shot clear, having picked up shots from holes six through eight before bogeying the 13th.

Thomas, who was first in the standings to begin the FedEx Cup tournament, has struggled to find a rhythm through the first two rounds and has seen his two-shot lead disappear through 36 holes.

His bogey at the 17th dropped him out of the lead on his own but he was able to go into the clubhouse tied with McIlroy and Koepka.

However, the world number one's birdie at 18 was enough to get him out in front for the tournament.

McIlroy followed up his opening-round 66 with a three-under 67, which included a birdie despite ending up in the trees off the tee at 18.

Xander Schauffele (69) is fourth at 11 under, two shots ahead of Paul Casey (67) and four clear of Patrick Cantlay (71) as the top five threaten to pull clear.

Reavie is at six under alongside Patrick Reed (70) and Matt Kuchar (72) and produced a brilliant ace on the par-three ninth.

Justin Thomas insisted he will be "fine" after losing his FedEx Cup cushion in round one of the season-ending Tour Championship.

BMW Championship winner Thomas had a two-stroke advantage after the format change for the Tour Championship at East Lake this week.

Instead of a points reset for the Tour Championship, players started on different scores – with Thomas top of the leaderboard at 10 under prior to round one.

However, Thomas ended Thursday's round tied for the one-shot lead alongside Xander Schauffele (64) and Brooks Koepka (67).

Thomas – the 2017 FedEx Cup champion – posted an even-par 70 and he said: "I'm fine. I'm tied for the lead.

"I played better than I scored today. I still can't believe those two short putts. I hit them where I wanted to.

"I feel like I played a lot of good golf through those last five holes. I'll be fine."

Thomas endured a mediocre opening in Atlanta, where a double-bogey and a pair of bogeys to go with four birdies saw his advantage evaporate.

"It was frustrating obviously because they were so close," the American star said. "To drive it as bad or hit as few fairways as I did through 13 holes and miss a couple of putts, to come in to the house at 10 under feels pretty good."

While Thomas made a slow start, countryman Schauffele catapulted himself up the leaderboard thanks to the best round of the day.

Schauffele, who was six shots adrift when he teed off, carded a six-under-par 64 to move into a three-way tie for the lead.

Winner of the 2017 Tour Championship as he was named PGA Tour Rookie of the Year, Schauffele said: "It was a good day. I told myself I'd keep my head down all of Thursday. The plan is to keep it down [Friday] and most of Saturday. It seemed to work today."

Koepka was third in the standings and three strokes behind Thomas before the FedEx Cup decider got underway on Thursday.

The four-time major champion had five birdies and two bogeys in a relatively steady opening to his campaign.

"It's nice to be tied for the last after the first day,'' he said. "I'm not very good at getting off to good starts, so I usually never get in that position. But it's nice. Three more days to grind it out and finish the year strong.''

Justin Thomas and Brooks Koepka are in a three-way tie with Xander Schauffele for the Tour Championship lead after the opening round.

The trio ended Thursday level at 10 under in the FedEx Cup decider, despite 2017 winner Schauffele producing the best round of the day via a six-under-par 64.

BMW Championship winner Thomas entered the tournament with a two-stroke advantage after the format change for the season-ending event at East Lake.

Instead of a points reset for the Tour Championship, players started on different scores – with Thomas top of the leaderboard prior to round one.

Schauffele was six shots adrift when play got underway but the American's bogey-free round, which included six birdies, and coupled with Thomas' even-par 70 saw him earn a share of the one-stroke lead.

It was a low-key start from Thomas, who is eyeing his second FedEx Cup title after claiming the trophy in 2017.

Afforded a head start thanks to his BMW Championship triumph, Thomas endured a mediocre opening in Atlanta, where a double-bogey and a pair of bogeys to go with four birdies saw his advantage evaporate.

Four-time major champion Koepka used a three-under-par 67 to catapult himself into a share of the first-round lead on Thursday.

Koepka, who was three shots behind Thomas at the start of the day, had five birdies and two birdies in a relatively steady opening to his campaign.

The American star finished with a flurry, birdieing three of his final four holes to join Schauffele and Thomas atop the standings.

Former world number one Rory McIlroy is a shot off the pace heading into the second round thanks to his 66.

The 2016 FedEx Cup champion only dropped one shot, recording five birdies to be in solo possession of fourth spot, ahead of Matt Kuchar (66) and Patrick Cantlay (70).

It was a difficult day for Dustin Johnson, who struggled to a three-over-par 73 to be even par and tied for 23rd in the 30-man field at the end of the first round.

Brooks Koepka is ready to pay Justin Thomas after the Tour Championship as he reflected on the "stupid bet" he made with his American countryman.

Thomas will take a two-stroke lead into the season-ending PGA Tour event starting at East Lake on Thursday, with Koepka three shots adrift.

But it seems Thomas is just about assured of at least one victory over Koepka after the two put a bet on for most hole-outs, the 2017 US PGA Championship winner stretching his lead during the BMW Championship.

Koepka said it was a silly bet to place and he is prepared to pay Thomas on Sunday.

"We were in Korea, we were playing together and we were talking about how all through the year we were going to have little action on how many times we hole-out," he told a news conference on Wednesday.

"I can't even remember the last time I holed out. I've got zero … I don't hole-out very much so it was a stupid bet on my part."

Koepka added: "I'll pay him on Sunday."

While he may lose that, Koepka still has a chance in the FedEx Cup despite the new format for the Tour Championship leaving him starting with a three-shot deficit.

The four-time major champion is not changing his approach as he eyes a first FedEx Cup title.

"It's another golf tournament – go out and try to win it. That's what you do every time you tee it up," Koepka said.

"Take one week at a time, go with the process and see where it puts you. Obviously I've got a good chance here, being third in the FedEx Cup, having a chance to win it.

"It's important, but I'm just going to go out and play some good golf this week."

Justin Rose hopes he can catch up with Justin Thomas and successfully defend his FedEx Cup crown at the season-ending Tour Championship.

Due to a revamped format, Thomas - FedEx Cup winner in 2017 - will already be sitting at the top of the leaderboard on 10 under when the 30-player event begins on Thursday in Atlanta.

Rose heads to East Lake as the defending FedEx Cup champion, though he has plenty of work to do from his starting position at two under par, eight strokes back.

However, the Englishman is relishing the challenge of trying to retain his title, something that is now possible from his position in the field thanks to the changes made to the tournament's structure.

"There's a couple of Justins that have gone back to back, but not the same person," Rose told a news conference.

"With Justin Thomas' position this year, it could be a three-peat for our name, but I'm going to try and give him a run.

"I start at two under, so you look at it two [shots closer to the lead] a day. The way I look at is that five guys are five under and better, so one of those guys is going to play great. That puts it at maybe 13 under plus [to win]

"If I can kind of whittle into the lead and I can pull two or three back on day one, your eye is on the prize. If I slip back 10 or 11 after day one, suddenly you're thinking about how to get the most out of the week."

Rory McIlroy had questioned whether the new format is be the best way to improve on the FedEx Cup, though Rose is fascinated to see how it plays out.

"If you were leading the FedExCup in the past and you had a poor week, you'd finish maybe second, possibly third. You have a poor week now and you can finish 12th, 15th, 18th, 20th," he said.

"There's a lot more volatility, I think, with this format, which is what play-off golf is all about, I guess. It's the guys basically bringing their best golf when it counts the most.

"It's going to be interesting to see if the guys behind play with more freedom."

Rory McIlroy is uncertain if the new format of the Tour Championship will help establish the FedEx Cup finale as an elite competition comparable to golf's four majors.

Justin Thomas will take a two-stroke lead into the end-of-season tournament at East Lake after the format was altered.

Instead of a points reset for the Tour Championship, players will start on different scores – with Thomas, who claimed a three-shot win at the BMW Championship - top of the 30-player leaderboard before the event begins on Thursday.

Though McIlroy sees the benefits of the new format, the four-time major winner is unsure over if the rule change is the best way to improve the prestige of the Tour Championship.

"If the FedEx Cup wants to have this legacy in the game like other championships do, is people starting the tournament on different numbers the best way to do it?" McIlroy said in a news conference.

"That's my only thing. I get it from a fan experience and giving guys who have played better through the year an advantage, but at the same time, I don't know.

"It'll make it sweeter for a guy who starts at even or one-under-par and goes through all the field and wins. Come back to me on Monday and I'll tell you whether it's worked or not."

McIlroy will start in fifth on the leaderboard, with Patrick Reed (-6), Brooks Koepka (-7) and Patrick Cantlay (-8) between the Northern Irishman and Thomas, who is at 10 under.

"Everyone's goal coming into this week was to be on that 10-under mark," added McIlroy. "Obviously, JT is there and there's a couple of guys between myself and him.

"It's a different format this year, it's more the psychology of it. I'm starting five back, but it's very different. We're all creatures of habit and it seems very different that you're starting at a different position to the rest of the field.

"At the same time, you have to just control what you can, play the best golf that you can and hopefully if you play four good rounds then that's the lowest number at the end of the week.

"In past Tour Championships, guys from 15 to 30 had a chance to win the Championship but not really the FedEx Cup. I think those guys have a much better chance this week. I can see a scenario where 15 guys have a chance to win the entire thing.

"It'll be exciting, it'll be different, but you've just got to go out there and play good golf, not look at what other guys are doing and trust that by the end of the week things will even out."

FedEx Cup leader Justin Thomas is not interested in the increased prize money for this year's championship, insisting his focus is on becoming "the best player that ever walked the planet".

In the new format, Thomas starts this week's season-ending Tour Championship on 10 under par, giving him a two-stroke lead over second-placed Patrick Cantlay at the top of the standings.

As well as the alteration to the tournament set-up, the prize pot has also changed, with an increase from $10million to $15m for the winner.

Yet despite this considerable rise, Thomas, who is bidding to win the FedEx Cup for a second time in three years, is not motivated by the money on offer.

"This week is not going to change my life - that's unbelievable, because it's an extremely substantial amount of money," he told a news conference.

"How FedEx has stepped up to take care of us players is crazy, it's unbelievable. Ten years ago, I wouldn't have thought that was possible.

"But I'm not going to change the way I live my life if I win that. Money has never driven me, I hope it never will.

"I play to win trophies and win championships and be the best player that ever walked the planet. That's all I play for. Money is a great consolation and a great thing to have.

"It's bizarre; I've never had a putt on a last hole of a tournament where I'm like: ‘Man if I make this, I finish solo second, versus if I miss this, it's a three-way tie for whatever' - a $500,000 putt.

"Whereas I go and play a money game at home and this putt is for $200 on the last hole and I have to physically give my friend $200? That makes me nervous.

"I'm not saying I don't have a rush out here. But that's fun. This is fun, too, but that's different.

"I don't know, I'm sure there is a form [amount] of money that might get me to say that, but I truly don't think that way or play that way."

Giving further evidence to his claims, Thomas admitted that his previous FedEx Cup triumph in 2017 felt like a consolation prize after failing to win the Tour Championship in the previous format.

He is determined to make sure the same does not happen again this year, too.

"One hundred per cent, yeah, it would irk me," he said. "There are world ranking points on the line. I want to beat everybody every week I play.

"Going into this week in 2017, there was only a couple of people who had won six times in a year and I wanted to be one of those people. I was p***ed, to be perfectly honest, that I didn't win.

"I think a lot of people were shocked and a little upset at how I handled just winning the FedEx Cup and $10m, but I was like: 'I just lost a golf tournament by one'. I should have won the tournament, I had a great chance.

"In the grand scheme of things, it was still a great year, my best to date, but my competitive nature is never going to be okay losing by one even if I get a consolation - a really, really good consolation at that."

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