As the final day of the Deutsche Bank Championship started for leader Louis Oosthuizen, history was not on his side despite having the lowest 54 hole score in tournament history. Like previous record holders Mike Weir (2008) and Jason Day (2010), the success that came in the earlier rounds could not help lock up a win, but rather led to a second place finish as Rory McIlroy came from three back to win the tournament.
With a strong performance from McIlroy that saw five birdies on the front nine, Oosthuizen’s three stroke lead at the beginning of the day soon turned into a deficit as McIlroy took the lead after the sixth hole. As strong has Oosthuizen was on the first nine during Sunday’s round, McIlory was just as consistent on the final day of golf.
“I just wanted to get off to a good solid start and maybe put Louis under a little bit of pressure,” McIlroy said. “I was able to do that playing the first holes 3-under, and we both made a couple mistakes on the fifth hole, but he made a six to my five, so I was able to take advantage of that a little bit.”
On the back nine, a birdie on the 13th and 15th holes brought Oosthuizen back to within one of McIlroy with three holes to go. Oosthuizen had a chance to regain a share of the lead on the 17th hole after a bogey by McIlroy but a two putt bogey kept the gap at one going into the 18th hole.
McIlroy had a chance to lock up a win with a long put for birdy on the final hole but could only get to the edge of the hole. With McIlroy settling for par, Oosthuizen had a chance to win with a birdy but a slight miss was enough to give McIlroy his third win of the year.
“Louis hit a great tee shot and put himself in a great position and just leaked his second shot a little bit,” said McIlroy. “I felt like I hit a good tee shot too, just went a little bit too far. Even if I wanted to go for the green, I wouldn't have been able to. So I had to lay up and just try to make four that way. Didn't quite happen, but thankfully in the end I didn't need it.”
Starting the day in third place, it would also be where Tiger Woods would finish. Despite a strong start and and getting four birdies between holes four through nine, a lack of birdies resulted in Woods finishing at -18. Getting to within three strokes after five holes, it would be as close to the lead as Woods would get. Despite the finish, it was a solid tournament for Woods who shot all four rounds in the 60s .
“I drove it really well on the back nine and just didn’t hit it close enough at all,” Woods said. “The goal was to at least get to 20 playing the last hole and give myself an option to go 21 or 22 I thought that might be good enough to get into a playoff.”
Behind by four strokes at the 15th hole, Woods nearly cut into the deficit on a shot from seven yards out but was forced to settle for par as the ball bounced off the edge of the hole
Locally, Hopkinton graduate Keegan Bradley finished the day eight under par which was good enough to end the tournament in a five way tie for 13th place.