He missed the ensuing par putt to "settle" for 61 and a seven-shot win.
Rory McIlroy knows exactly how to play to a crowd, no matter where in the world he's competing, and he showed that on Sunday. "I think this time it's more of an affirmation of what I can do when I play with complete freedom", he said.
"I found a little groove", he said, "and I want to keep it going". I trusted myself 100% and I hit the shots when I needed to.
But Kuchar and Brown, playing in the afternoon, went low, too, shooting 7-under 63s and finishing the second round as co-leaders at 12 under. "A couple of loose shots down the stretch but I was chasing it, trying to make birdies, and sometimes you're going to make mistakes when you do that". "We're here to play well and we're going to contend for championships for years to come".
Onlookers from McIlroy's native side of the Atlantic could be forgiven for wondering what it was all about but the meaning certainly wasn't lost on his legions of supporters at the Hamilton Golf and Country Club. He looked ahead to the US Open drawing comparisons. It was pretty thick. "If someone said to me earlier 'Do you know how many national opens you've won?' I could count them and I've won five. I think I left every putt a foot short yesterday", said Snedeker, who had a 1-under 69 in the opening round. That, he insists, merely illustrates the fine margins in the upper echelons of his sport.
"Yeah, 61.it's um. Yeah", said McIlroy with a visible wince. His previous best closing score to win a tournament was a 62 at the Quail Hollow Championship in 2010. Both of those instances are not far away from each other.
"I could be there and miss a cut and think, Well, what was all the fuss about? I feel like my consistency this year has been great".
By that point, the question wasn't whether McIlroy would win his 16th PGA Tour event; it was by how many.
Though the eventual victor tried to hole the 35-foot sand shot, his ball went past the hole and he would finally have to settle for a bogey after missing a sharply-breaking seven-foot putt. Ultimately he bogeyed the last from a greenside bunker when a birdie would have elevated him into rare sub-60 territory. Just twice in events staged during the last 15 months has he been ranked in the top six in the "strokes gained: putting" category. "When he's got some time off he basically plays 36 holes a day".
With a score of 59 realistic, McIlroy kept playing aggressively, but a bogey at the par-four 16th where he tugged his approach shot ever so slightly was an undeniable setback.