Friday 23 March 2018

Rory bid for double delight fails

This time McIlroy had to settle for a level-par 72 to finish on three-under overall Photo: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
This time McIlroy had to settle for a level-par 72 to finish on three-under overall Photo: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

William S Callahan

Rory McIlroy turns his attention to chasing the FedEx Cup title and the $10 million bonus prize after a busy six days culminated with a moderate performance in the BMW Championship at Crooked Stick, Indiana.

The hero of the Deutsche Bank Championship in Boston on Labor Day last Monday was asking perhaps a little too much of himself to repeat his 2012 Deutsche Bank/BMW Championship double.

This time he had to settle for a level-par 72 to finish on three-under overall.

US Open champion Dustin Johnson and England's Paul Casey, runner-up to McIlroy last week, were settling down to an intense battle for the title at the top of the leaderboard as the Northern Irishman holed out for a par four on his 72nd hole.

Johnson started the day at 18-under, with Casey three adrift after 54 holes, and they were paired together for the final round.

Meanwhile, McIlroy's frustration was evident, but it was nothing like the pain he endured prior to his performance in Boston.

The assistance of putting specialist Phil Kenyon has given McIlroy a solid base on which to find a level of consistent harmony with the short stick for the rest of the year, including the Ryder Cup.

He now has time to consolidate and reflect on the progress he has made before the FedEx Cup final at East Lake, Atlanta, starting on Thursday week.

McIlroy is safely inside the top 10 of the 30 qualifiers, but his Ulster compatriot Graeme McDowell was not so fortunate.

McDowell dropped three shots in his last five holes for a 72 to join McIlroy at three-under and end his FedEx Cup involvement for this year.


Jason Day, the world number one, withdrew after eight holes of the last round due to a back injury.

Day's back seemed to seize up as he bent down to tee his ball up on the ninth, and he could not continue playing. He will receive treatment this week and hopes to be fit for East Lake.

The other Irishman in action on US soil yesterday was Waterford-born Olympian Seamus Power.

Power, who has already clinched his playing rights on the PGA Tour for next season, was at three-under for the Web.Com's DAP tournament in Ohio after eight holes, just four off the lead then held by Bryson DeChambeau.

The Irishman birdied the ninth to move to four-under, but a double-bogey five on the short 11th, and a bogey five on 14 derailed his hopes of a second win this season.

Power finished with a 71, one-over for the day, and two-under for the tournament.

Paul Dunne improved his prospects of retaining his Tour card for 2017 with a solid performance in the KLM Open at Spijk, Holland.

Dunne earned €23,805 for his tied-16th place to move to 102 in the Race to Dubai rankings, eight above the cut-off point.

The Greystones golfer carded 74, 64, 68,69 for nine-under par 275.

Holland's Joost Luiten equalled the course record with a 63 to win on 19-under.

Irish Independent

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