5 Things: McIlroy displays 'survival' skills to win DBC
Here are 5 Things you need to know from the Deutsche Bank Championship, where World No. 1 Rory McIlroy won his third PGA Tour title of the season. The victory moved McIlroy to No. 1 in the FedEx Cup standings and put McIlroy, the PGA Championship winner, atop the player-of-the-year race:
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1. HOLDING ON: Rory McIlroy shot a final-round 67 to finish at 20-under 264, one shot ahead of Louis Oosthuizen. Tiger Woods was third at 18 under par after a bogey-free 66 Monday. McIlroy and Woods are the only players to win three PGA Tour titles this year. This was McIlroy’s second victory in his past three starts after his eight-shot PGA Championship victory.
“I've learned how to handle winning big events and carrying myself forward and not dwelling on what's happened, just moving forward, just trying to win another golf tournament, trying to put myself in position,” McIlroy said. “There's a time and a place to celebrate and to enjoy what you've done, and going into the playoffs isn't it. You have to just focus on the week ahead. I'll get to Crooked Stick tomorrow and start to prepare for that tournament.”
McIlroy started the final round three shots behind Oosthuizen, who was coming off a third-round 63. McIlroy took the lead with a birdie on No. 6 after hitting 9-iron to 3 feet. He birdied five of his first eight holes Monday, and had a two-shot lead at the turn.
McIlroy could only manage one birdie on the final nine holes, though, allowing Oosthuizen and Woods to put pressure on him. “That was more survival on those last few holes,” said McIlroy, who bogeyed No. 17 and could only manage par on the reachable par-5 18th.
This was McIlroy’s fifth PGA Tour victory. McIlroy, 23, is one of five players under 30 with multiple PGA Tour victories: Dustin Johnson (6), McIlroy (5), Anthony Kim (3), Webb Simpson (3) and Keegan Bradley (3). McIlroy and Woods are the only three players with three PGA Tour wins this season.
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2. LOUIS FALLS SHORT: Oosthuizen had his chances to earn his first PGA Tour victory. He used birdies at Nos. 13 and 15 to get within one shot of McIlroy, and still was one back when the pair arrived at No. 17. It took McIlroy four shots to reach the green on the par 4, but Oosthuizen could only match McIlroy’s bogey after missing a 9-foot par putt.
“The 17th hole cost me,” Oosthuizen said. “I mean, middle of the fairway, 140 yards pin. My target was inside the right edge of the green and the pin, and I hit it exactly where I wanted to, and I just got the wind completely wrong.”
Oosthuizen made par on No. 18 after pushing his second shot to the par 5 right of a greenside bunker. His flop shot ended up 10 feet past the hole, and Oosthuizen barely missed the birdie putt that would’ve forced a playoff. His final-round 71 left him one shot behind McIlroy. Oosthuizen had shot 66 or lower in each of the first three rounds.
This was Oosthuizen’s second runner-up of the season. He also was second at the Masters after losing a playoff to Bubba Watson. This also was the second time this season that Oosthuizen failed to convert a 54-hole lead on the PGA Tour. He led the Shell Houston Open before finishing third.
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3. SURPASSING A MILESTONE: Tiger Woods shot four rounds in the 60s, including a final-round 66, to finish in third place, two shots behind McIlroy. Woods started the final round six shots off Oosthuizen’s lead, but was trailing by just three shots when the final group made the turn. Woods, who played with Dustin Johnson in the second-to-last group, shot a bogey-free 32 on the front nine, but could manage just one birdie on the back nine, a two-putt birdie at the par-5 18th.
With a paycheck of $544,000 Monday, Woods became the first player in PGA Tour history to surpass $100 million in career earnings.
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4. CUP CONTENDERS: Dustin Johnson and Brandt Snedeker used strong play to plead their Ryder Cup case to captain Davis Love III. Johnson finished fourth at 14-under, one week after finishing third at the Barclays.
Snedeker, the runner-up at last week’s Barclays, shot a back-nine 31 Monday to shoot 67 and finish sixth.
“I did a pretty good job of staying in the tournament and not thinking about it,” Snedeker said. “I was obviously really nervous today on the golf course. Today was a very big day. If I played bad today it might sway him one way or the other, so just tried to play as well as I could.”
Steve Stricker and Jim Furyk both tied for 13th, while Hunter Mahan finished 39th and Rickie Fowler was 74th.
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5. ON TO INDIANAPOLIS: Dicky Pride finished 70th in the FedEx Cup standings to earn the final spot to this week’s BMW Championship. He made birdies on Nos. 17 and 18 to shoot 68 and finish T-20 at 6 under. Pride hit a 141-yard approach shot on No. 17 to 4 feet, then got up-and-down from just short of the green on the par-5 18th. Pride, 43, is competing in the FedEx Cup playoffs for the first time. He arrived at the Deutsche Bank ranked 96th in the FedEx Cup standings.
Charley Hoffman started Monday inside the top 10 on the leaderboard and opened with a 2-under 34 on the front nine, but he had to make an 11-foot putt on No. 18 just to save par and advance to the BMW Championship. Hoffman, who’s 69th in the FedEx Cup standings, shot 42 on his final nine at TPC Boston to finish T-26.