Published Monday, 24 September 2012
Rory McIlroy plays a bunker shot on the tenth hole on the last day. (© Getty)
American Brandt Snedeker now goes into this week's Ryder Cup $7m richer after winning the Tour Championship by three.
McIlroy had to settle for a mere $2m after falling from fourth to 10th at East Lake with a closing 74.
This came after a run of 11 sub-70 rounds - and a fall from first to second in the overall play-off standings.
On missing out on the big prize, McIlroy said: "I'm a little disappointed to be honest.
"I didn't play the way I wanted to," he admitted, before adding: "But at the same time Brandt really deserves to win.
"He needed to come in here and win. He controlled his own destiny just like I did and he was able to do it."
England's Justin Rose finished runner-up in the event and moved to a career-high fifth in the world.
Europe will now have four of the world's top five on view at Medinah.
The 24 players are all in the game's top 35, with McIlroy topping the rankings.
The Co Down sporting star has had four play-off events in five weeks - and victories in the middle two of them.
"I just hope we are fresh," he said.
"I think everybody is going to take a day off (today). It's a draining week on and off the course."
At one point, Snedeker looked as if he might be about to throw it away when he followed McIlroy into the lake on the short sixth and double-bogeyed, but he birdied four of the next 11 holes and so could easily afford a closing bogey.
"I'm not going to complain and I'm not going to criticise the format - you've got to play well every week," added McIlroy.
"It's been a great year and I'm very happy with how I'm playing still.
"I'm very excited about next week."