Friday 25 May 2018

McIlroy, Woods out of FedEx Cup race

William S Callahan

TIGER WOODS and Rory McIlroy both fell out of the FedEx Cup race yesterday.

Defending FedEx champion Woods and Holywood's McIlroy were prominent among several Ryder Cup hopefuls who failed to qualify for the 30-man field at America's Tour Championship in Atlanta the week after next.

Tiger's US team-mate Stewart Cink and McIlroy's European comrade Ian Poulter will also have a fortnight off before heading for Celtic Manor after missing the bus to Atlanta at the BMW Championship at Cog Hill.

Woods needed to carve out a top-five finish in Chicago to make the climax to the US Tour season for the 14th straight year, requiring him to shoot 65 or lower yesterday. Yet he stalled and even though he birdied three of his final five holes, a closing 71 left him well shy of his ambitious target, on one-under.

With Vijay Singh also out of the reckoning, a new name will be etched on the FedEx Cup in a fortnight.

Woods was given ample evidence of the scoring opportunities available on a favourable day in Chicago by his playing companion and arch rival Phil Mickelson as he made a valiant bid for a first top-10 finish since the US Open with a sweet closing 68.

McIlroy played nicely over the weekend but creditable rounds of 68 and yesterday's 69 still left the Holywood youngster at three-over overall, just inside the top 40 at Cog Hill. He started brightly with two birdies in his first five holes yesterday and, despite a three-putt bogey at six, kept his hopes alive with back-to-back birdies at nine and 10. Yet a hat-trick of bogeys at 12, 13 and 14 killed-off his Tour Championship prospects.

Though he'd birdie 15 and holed out from 54 feet off the green to pick up another shot at 17, McIlroy was left to rue 15 missed putts of 10 feet or less, including four of around four feet.

Paul Casey delivered a powerful message to European captain Colin Montgomerie for failing to give him a wild card as he bagged five birdies in his first 12 holes, with the Englishman and Dustin Johnson just ahead of Ryan Moore in the closing stages.

Irish Independent

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