Rory McIlroy spectacularly eagled the par-five 15th to join Billy Horschel in a tie for the lead in the Tour Championship and set up a thrilling conclusion to the 2013-14 PGA Tour season.
With the FedExCup playoff title and a bonus jackpot of $10 million on the line at East Lake Golf Club, world number one McIlroy sank a 26-foot putt to draw level at the top, then parred the last three holes to card a three-under-par 67.
That left the Northern Irishman at nine-under 201 in the fourth and final playoff event, level with his American playing partner Horschel, who had been three ahead at the turn before losing momentum over the closing stretch on the way to a 69.
McIlroy has already enjoyed a superb 2014 campaign, clinching two major titles among four wins worldwide, and has set his sights on claiming the FedExCup crown for the first time after a season-long race.
“I haven’t played my best golf by any stretch this week, but I’m just sort of grinding out scores and trying to keep myself at the top of the leaderboard,” McIlroy told reporters after carding three birdies, his timely eagle and two bogeys.”
Horschel is also seeking to end his season with a flourish, having tied for second at the Deutsche Bank Championship earlier this month before winning the BMW Championship six days ago.
Any of the top five in the points standings would clinch the FedExCup by winning the Tour Championship, a group that comprises top-ranked Chris Kirk, Horschel (second), Bubba Watson (third), McIlroy (fourth) and Hunter Mahan (fifth).