Rory McIlroy rallied from six shots behind Monday and closed with a 6-under 65 for a two-shot victory in the Deutsche Bank Championship, the 20th victory of his career worldwide and his 1st this year on the PGA TOUR.
He was 38th in the FedExCup standings after tying for 31st last weekend at The Barclays, but rose to fourth after his third-career FedExCup Playoffs victory.
“Things can turn around very quickly in this game,” Rory McIlroy said.
In his case, it only took 69 holes. McIlroy, who missed the cut in the PGA Championship and was an afterthought last week when the FedExCup Playoffs began, already was 4-over-par just three holes into this tournament at the TPC Boston. He managed to get back to even par at the end of the opening round, and he was on his way. He shot 67 on Saturday, 66 on Sunday and then raced by a faltering Paul Casey on Labor Day in strong wind from remnants of Hermine. Rory McIlroy closed out the front nine with three straight birdies to take the lead for the first time. He regained the lead with a 20-foot birdie putt on No. 12, and then drilled a fairway metal into the wind and over the hazard on the par-5 18th to set up one last birdie from the bunker.
Casey, who started the final round with a three-shot lead in his bid for his first PGA Tour victory since 2009, closed with a 73. He had a 60-foot eagle putt on the final hole that would have forced a playoff. It went 8 feet by and he missed the meaningless birdie putt.
“Wow, very impressive. Yeah, that’s a might round of golf,” Casey said of McIlroy’s finish. “I struggled a little bit from the get-go and it’s hard to regain rhythm and make your birdies if you started out that way, so I found it incredibly difficult. I battled well, did a lot of things brilliantly all week, but obviously frustrated.”The only consolation for Casey was that his runner-up finish moved him from No. 59 to No. 10 in the FedEx Cup, assuring a spot in the Tour Championship for the first time since 2010. PGA champion Jimmy Walker closed with a 70 to finish third.
The top 70 advance to the BMW Championship, which starts Thursday at Crooked Stick in Indiana. Among those who moved into the top 70 was David Hearn of Canada, who came into the week at No. 92. Hearn closed with a 70 and tied for eighth. McIlroy, who finished at 15-under 269, moves back to No. 3 in the world.
It was 27-year-old McIlroy’s first tournament win since the Irish Open in May and first PGA title since May 2015.
The victory comes just a week after he changed his putter and putting coach.
“I still need to keep going with it, it’s definitely not the finished article, but it’s a big step in the right direction.”I’m excited with how my game is and what I’ve found this week, and hopefully I can keep it going for the next couple of tournaments, but ultimately into the Ryder Cup.”The Deutsche Bank Championship is the second of the four that make up the season-ending FedEx Cup.
McIlroy will rise 34 places to fourth in the FedEx Cup standings – and nearer the $10m (£7.52m) prize for the winner – as a result of his victory. The competition features the top 100 players in the world. The leading 70 after this weekend progress to next week’s BMW Championship, where the field will be reduced to 30 for the Tour Championship on 22-25 September.