Rolex Series

2022: The year that belonged to Rory McIlroy

This year will be remembered as the one in which Rory McIlroy finished top of the tree.


His fourth Harry Vardon Trophy triumph means the Northern Irishman can claim to be European Number One, World Number One and FedExCup Champion at the same time for the first time in his career.

Here, we take a closer look at McIlroy's stellar year.


Strong performances at the first two Rolex Series events of the season laid down solid foundations for the rest of the season. He followed up a joint-12th placed finish at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship with a third at the Dubai Desert Classic - narrowly missing out on a play-off after finding the water at the last. He also performed well on the PGA TOUR in the early part of 2022, recording top-15 finishes at The Genesis Invitational and the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard.


McIlroy showed that he meant business during this period, starting with a stunning performance at the Masters Tournament, where he finished second. Although he was unable to secure the victory he needs to complete the career Grand Slam, he capped a memorable week when he holed out from a bunker on the 18th in the final round for a 64, his lowest score in The Masters and the joint-lowest in the final round in tournament history. Buoyed by that display, he then finished fifth in the Wells Fargo Championship before coming eighth in the US PGA Championship. June saw him retain his RBC Canadian Open title and win his 21st PGA TOUR crown in the process, while a joint-fifth finish at the U.S. Open Championship continued his fine form in the Majors.


He continued his run of top tens at the Majors with a third-place finish at The 150th Open Championship at St Andrews, but it could have been a different story there. McIlroy began the final round in a tie for the lead and was two shots ahead at the turn, but a closing bogey-free 70 was not enough as he finished two shots back. He bounced back from that disappointment in style, though, overturning a six-shot deficit in the final round of the Tour Championship in August to become the first player to win the PGA TOUR's FedExCup three times. He shone again in the Rolex Series in September, narrowly missing out on winning the BMW PGA Championship as he finished one shot behind champion Shane Lowry in joint-second. He followed that up by finishing fourth at the DS Automobiles Italian Open at next year's Ryder Cup venue, Marco Simone Golf & Country Club.


He started October with a good result at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, finishing in a tie for fourth. McIlroy then re-established himself as World Number One with victory at the CJ Cup in South Carolina. He went into the season finale in Dubai at the top of the DP World Tour Rankings in Partnership with Rolex, searching for yet more glory. And although he was knocked off top spot by Matt Fitzpatrick in the projected standings at times during the tournament, his fourth-placed finish was enough to secure his fourth Harry Vardon Trophy in the DP World Tour's 50th anniversary year.

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