Cleat Geeks

The 19th Hole: Rory Returns To Form

As questions swirl about his putting struggles and his sponsor’s eventual withdrawal from the golf equipment business, some of the focus on Rory McIlroy had shifted away from his successful record and play.

RoryMcllroyDeutscheBankBut a superb final round Monday at the Deutsche Bank Championship has shoved McIlroy straight back to the front of the conversation, as the young Irishman scored a two-shot victory in the second event of the PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup playoffs.

McIlroy snared command with five birdies on the front nine in tracking down 54-hole leader Paul Casey. He finished with a birdie at the 18th hole and then had to wait for Casey and PGA Champion Jimmy Walker, but neither could track down McIlroy’s final score of 15-under par.

“I knew my game was in good shape, I just needed to do something with the putting,” McIlroy told reporters after the win. “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.”

It’s the 12th PGA Tour victory for McIlroy, who has choices to make in the coming months with Nike Golf announcing last month it would get out of the golf equipment business. McIlroy previously had played Titleist equipment.

The win boosts McIlroy to No. 3 in the world rankings, switching spots with Jordan Spieth who now is No. 4. McIlroy also jumped from 38th to 4th in the FedEx Cup standings ahead of this week’s third playoff event, the BMW Championship.

Patrick Reed, who won the first playoff event, had another solid week, finishing tied for 5th, helping him maintain the top spot in the points standings. Jason Day and Dustin Johnson maintain the No. 2 and No. 3 positions, followed by McIlroy and Adam Scott, who closed with a 65 to finish 4th at the Deutsche Bank.

This week’s BMW Championship will narrow the field from the 70 entrants to the top 30 in points who will reach the season-ending Tour Championship Sept. 22-25.


Deutsche Bank Results

Again, we had a few guys in the neighborhood but weren’t able to get the victory.

Patrick Reed – Another good week has Reed in good position in the playoff race. 11-under, tied for 5th

Jordan Spieth – With McIlroy winning, he becomes the star perhaps flying under the radar now. 7-under, tied for 21st

Ryan Palmer – The big Texan was in the hunt on the weekend but fell a little short. 6-under, tied for 24th

Phil Mickelson – Lefty made a mess of his first round and couldn’t recover. Missed the cut.


BMW Picks

RyanMooreAt this point there aren’t really any “longshots” so here are four bigger names to look at.

Jason Day – He dominated this event last year, winning by six strokes. And he’s really good.

Ryan Moore – One of the hottest players on the tour right now coming off two straight top-10 finishes and a win last month. And he’s trying to get in one last strong effort to hopefully get a Ryder Cup selection.

Louis Oosthuizen – The former British Open champ tied for 8th in Boston and is 40th in the FedEx Cup standings, needing a good finish to reach the Tour Championship.

Matt Kuchar – Another “bubble” guy, sitting 28th in the FedEx Cup standings and needing a good showing this week.

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