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Rory McIlroy pays tribute to fellow Tour Championship winner Happy Gilmore

This year marks a major milestone for the Tour Championship: the 25th anniversary of Happy Gilmore’s storied victory.

That’s right, it has already been 25 years since one of the greatest performances of our generation, er — since the fictional character from Adam Sandler’s 1996 cult classic “Happy Gilmore” won the season-ending Tour Championship.

For those in need of a refresher, Gilmore overcame a 4-stroke deficit on the back nine to defeat his greatest rival, Shooter McGavin. The win cemented Gilmore’s meteoric rise from a failed hockey player with a powerful slapshot — something that translated surprisingly well into his unorthodox yet effective putting style — to a bona fide star.

It was a uniquely special moment for Gilmore, whose journey to the gold jacket was marred with controversy (he once engaged in a public fistfight with beloved TV presenter Bob Barker during a celebrity pro-am tournament), as he was playing in honor of his mentor — the late, great Chubbs Peterson.

On Wednesday, to recognize the 25-year milestone of Gilmore’s achievement, fellow Tour Championship winner Rory McIlroy presented a commemorative inscription at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta.

McIlroy also delivered a heartfelt tribute to Gilmore (Sandler? Trying not to break character here). The enigmatic retired golfer was quick to reply with a warm message of his own.

Pro tip, Rory: Just say no to the ninth green at nine.


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