Friday 30 September 2016

McIlroy and Spieth already planning for next tournament

William S Callahan

Published 07/09/2015 | 02:30

Rory McIlroy plays his tee shot on the 17th hole during the third round of the Deutsche Bank Championship at TPC Boston
Rory McIlroy plays his tee shot on the 17th hole during the third round of the Deutsche Bank Championship at TPC Boston

Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth are already looking to Chicago for the third event in the FedEx Cup play-offs before the Deutsche Bank Championship has finished at TPC Boston.

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McIlroy shot 71 yesterday in the third round of the Deutsche Bank, leaving him near the bottom of the field on two-over-par after 54 holes.

That left him a long way behind overnight leader Henrik Stenson. The Swedish Ryder Cup star was majestic in shooting a bogey-free 65, including an eagle two on the par-4, fourth hole where drove 292 yards to the green and holed a 20 foot putt.

Despite that display, Stenson, at 13 under par, only had a one shot lead ahead of Rickie Fowler whose third consecutive 67 left him on 12 under par, with Matt Jones of Australia and American Sean O'Hair in hot pursuit on eleven under.

The tournament has a Monday finish today due to this being the Labour Day holiday weekend in the USA.

McIlroy still holds on to his world number one spot but that could change by the end of today's play.

The Ulster man has been unhappy with some aspects of his game, notably his wedge play and his putting.

He will seek improvement in the final round and then assess his game before the next event, the BMW Championship which takes place at Conway Farms from September 17-20.

"If you look at the bigger picture, it's my second tournament in ten weeks. I'm just trying to play myself into better form.

"I'm not concerned but I think the good thing is I know what I need to work on. It's not as if I'm out there and don't know what's going wrong.

"There's things that I need to address, and if I can address those issues I know that I'll start to show it.

"I'll have another week off to practice on a few things and try and go to Chicago in better shape," he said.

Labour Day is a day of rest but Jordan Spieth was not a happy man to have the weekend off while the Deutsche Bank Championship progressed through the last 36 holes without him.

Spieth came to the TPC of Boston seeking atonement for his missed cut in The Barclays last week, the first event of the FedEx Cup series.

It didn't work out as he planned. The man who seemed to play golf with a machine-like consistency found that the wheels were falling off and he had a second successive missed cut on Saturday.

"I'm going to take some time away," said Spieth. "I had really bad self-talk this week, something I haven't experienced in quite a while.

"It's maybe heightened by just everything that's happened this year, and just being so used to being in contention, that not only was I out of it, but I was also outside the cut line.

Cockiness

"I need to walk with some cockiness in my step these next two tournaments. That's going to be a big stage.

"I don't think I have to fix much in my game other than really work hard on my putting into Conway (Farms) and then mentally I can control that.

"I can control walking with the cockiness, whether things are going good or bad, and that's what you have to have inside the ropes.

"And I'll bring it when we get to Chicago," he added.

Meanwhile, Michael Hoey collected some early points in the Ryder Cup European Tour standings but his thoughts are far from Medinah in 2016.

The Ulsterman returned to Moscow for the M2M Russian Open, a tournament he won in 2013, and finished tied fourth with a final round 64 on 12 under par 272.

It was a boost to his bank balance (€39,350) and also got him some points in the first counting tournament towards the Ryder Cup next year.

Hoey finished three shots shy of winner Lee Slattery of England, whose 69 brought him to 15-under-par 269.

Slattery, 37, won his second Tour title and a first-prize cheque of €166,660.

Estanisalo Goya (Argentina), came second on 14-under, with England's David Horsey third on 13-under.

Also competing under the Irish banner were Dubliner Niall Kearney, Brian Casey from Headfort, and Tour veteran Damien McGrane. Kearney closed with 69 for two-under-par.

Casey and McGrane each filed 70, for one under (283) and one over (285).

Deutsche Bank Championship

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