The Northern Irishman held off Justin Thomas and Tony Finau in a thrilling last-day battle to come out on top at St George’s Golf & Country Club in Toronto.
It was his 21st victory on the PGA Tour and moved him into a tie for 31st on the all-time PGA Tour wins list.
“And one more than Norman,” pointed out McIlroy right at the start of his press conference as he took dead aim at the LIV Golf CEO and commissioner.
McIlroy’s latest success had come just 24 hours after the conclusion of the inaugural LIV Golf Invitational Series event, won by South African Charl Schwartzel at Centurion Club near St Albans.
Phil Mickelson and Dustin Johnson both played in that and they are set to be joined in the next event in Portland by Bryson DeChambeau and Patrick Reed after they became the latest LIV Golf recruits over the past few days.
McIlroy, who sits on the PGA Tour’s Player Advisory Council, has been outspoken about the breakaway series and, no matter how much money might be thrown at him, is unlikely to ever be swayed by the Saudis.
“I had extra motivation of what's going on across the pond,” he added. “The guy that's spearheading that tour has 20 wins on the PGA Tour and I was tied with him and I wanted to get one ahead of him. And I did. So that was really cool for me, just a little sense of pride on that one.”
He was asked if the win might end up being a bigger part of his legacy than you would have expected before you made the trip to Canada.
“I guess time will tell,” replied the four-time major winner to that, having signed off with a brilliant 62 to triumph by a shot from Finau, with PGA champion Thomas one further back. “It feels really good with all the things that were going on in the world of golf this week.
“For the Canadian Open, a national championship, to have a week like it's had, three of the best players in the world going at it down the stretch, trying to win in front of those crowds and that atmosphere.
“That's what I talked about last week at Memorial, talking about a proper golf tournament. That's as top notch as you're going to get.
“It was a pleasure to be a part of and I'll look back on this week and this, especially today, with very, very fond memories.
“In terms of what it means for legacy, I don't know, but I just know it feels really good to win this week of all weeks.”
American duo Keith Mitchell and Wyndham Clark secured their places in The 150th Open at St Andrews after qualifying through the Canadian Open.
Mitchell and Clark finished in a tie for seventh behind McIlroy with the already exempt Chris Kirk. Mitchell will make his third appearance in The Open while it will be Clark’s debut.