Planet Golf — 03 September 2012 by GW staff and news services
Has McIIroy shown he’s the best in the game?

NORTON, Mass. – Rory McIlroy birdied five of his first eight holes en route to a final-round 4-under 67 and a come-from-behind win by one stroke over Louis Oosthuizen at the 2012 Deutsche Bank Championship, the second event of the PGA Tour Playoffs for the FedExCup.

McIlroy entered the day three strokes behind Oosthuizen (71).

“I had a couple of wobbles coming in, but I obviously did enough and I’m very excited to get a victory,” McIlroy said.

That’s all anyone will remember.

On a leaderboard packed with some of the biggest names in golf — McIlroy, Oosthuizen, Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Dustin Johnson — the 23-year-old from Northern Ireland took a giant leap toward establishing himself as the best in the game.

McIlroy closed with a 4-under 67  and joined Woods as the only three-time winners this year on the Tour.

McIlroy goes to No. 1 in the FedEx Cup. And with one of his wins being the PGA Championship, that might be enough for his peers to vote him PGA Tour Player of the Year. He also has a comfortable gap in the Official World Gold Ranking, and could be tough to catch the rest of the year unless Woods were to win the next two FedExCup events.

“He’s not No. 1 in the world for nothing,” Oosthuizen said. “He’s a great young talent, a lot of majors left for him to win. He’s such a cool kid on the course. It’s great playing with him. He makes tough shots look really sometimes, especially long irons.

“I don’t think the back nine he hit the ball that great after what he did on the front nine, but he did what he had to do.”

Woods made an early charge to get back in the hunt, though he never got closer than three shots until a two-putt birdie on the par-5 18th gave him a 66. He finished in third place, two shots behind, and earned enough money to become the first player to surpass $100 million in PGA Tour earnings.

Woods attributed that to higher purses, though he’s responsible for those.

“I think we got some interest in the game of golf,” Woods said. “A lot more youth, that’s for sure.”

Here’s a look at the final-round notes:

Final-Round Leaderboard: Rory McIlroy 65-65-67-67—264 (-20); Louis Oosthuizen 66-65-63-71—265 (-19); Tiger Woods 64-68-68-66—266 (-18); Phil Mickelson 68-68-68-66—270 (-14); Dustin Johnson 67-68-65-70—270 (-14).

Rory McIlroy

    • Earns his 5th career PGA Tour victory at the age of 23 years, 3 months and 29 days in his 52nd career start on Tour.
    • Projected to move to the No. 1 spot in FedExCup standings.
    • Becomes only the second three-time winner on Tour this season, joining Tiger Woods.
    • Claims the 15th win of the season by a player in his 20s (12 players).Claims a fifth PGA Tour win in his 20s. Players under the age of 30 with three or more victories on the Tour: Dustin Johnson (6), Rory McIlroy (5), Anthony Kim (3), Webb Simpson (3), Keegan Bradley (3).
    • Claims his third win of the season just 22 days after his PGA Championship title, the quickest to claim two Tour titles since Jason Dufner won the HP Byron Nelson Championship 21 days after his win at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans. Webb Simpson won last year’s Deutsche Bank Championship just 15 days after winning the Wyndham Championship.
    • Becomes the third international-born player to win the Deutsche Bank Championship since its 2003 inception (Adam Scott/2003, Vijay Singh/2004).
    • Becomes the first player to win multiple events in a season, including a major, since Keegan Bradley won the HP Byron Nelson Championship and PGA Championship in 2011.
    • Joins Tiger Woods (2007) and Vijay Singh (2004) as players to win the Deutsche Bank Championship the same year of a major championship title.
    • Becomes the sixth Deutsche Bank Championship winner to record all four rounds in the 60s.
    • McIlroy (2012), Luke Donald (2011) and Tiger Woods (2009, 2008, 2007) are the only three players to hold the No. 1 spot in the FedExCup standings, Official World Golf Rankings and PGA Tour money list at the same time.
    • McIlroy becomes the second player to come into the week as the world’s top-ranked player and claim the Deutsche Bank Championship title, with Tiger Woods achieving the feat in 2006. Vijay Singh overtook the world’s top spot after his 2004 win at the Deutsche Bank Championship.

Louis Oosthuizen 

    • Oosthuizen entered the final round with a three-stroke lead over Rory McIlroy, but a final-round even-par 71 left him one stroke behind his playing partner. The South African was hoping to join Adam Scott (2003) and Phil Mickelson (2007) as players to win in their first start at the Deutsche Bank Championship.
    • Oosthuizen records the second runner-up finish of his career (50 events) on the PGA Tour (2012 Masters).
    • Oosthuizen moves to No. 5 in the FedExCup standings. He did not qualify for the PGA Tour  Playoffs last year in his first season as a member. He finished No. 148 in the FedExCup standings.

Tiger Woods

    • Woods finished third at the Deutsche Bank Championship, the 19th third-place finish of his career (74 wins, 28 second-place finishes).
    • With a paycheck of $544,000 on Monday, Woods becomes the first player in Tour history to surpass $100,000,000 in career earnings.
    • Woods entered the week with the best stroke average (68.07) among players with at least 32 rounds under their belt in the Tour Playoffs. He also owns the most wins in the Playoffs. Here’s a list of the multiple winners: 3 – Tiger Woods; 2 – Steve Stricker, Vijay Singh, Dustin Johnson, Camilo Villegas and Phil Mickelson.

Final-Round Notes:

    • The top 70 following the Deutsche Bank Championship qualify for the BMW Championship.
    • The third-round leader/co-leader has won 14 of 38 stroke-play events this season, most recently by Sergio Garcia at the Wyndham Championship.
    • For the first time since 2009, all four major championship winners are competing in the FedExCup Playoffs: Bubba Watson (ranked seventh in the FedExCup), Webb Simpson (20th), Ernie Els (18th) and Rory McIlroy (4th).
    • The 54-hole leader/co-leader has gone on to win four of 10 times at the Deutsche Bank Championship (Adam Scott/2003, Vijay Singh/2004, Olin Browne/2005, Steve Stricker/2009). This year’s 54-hole leader, Louis Oosthuizen, carded an even-par 71 to finish runner-up.
    • Nick Watney dropped from No. 1 to No. 2 in the FedExCup points standings with a T20 this week. Vijay Singh remains the only player to win The Barclays and Deutsche Bank Championship (2008) in the same season.
    • With rounds of 68-68-68-66, Phil Mickelson (T4) recorded four rounds in the 60s in a tournament for the first time since the 2011 Farmers Insurance Open. It marks the first time in six starts at the Deutsche Bank Championship that the 2007 champion has performed the feat. Mickelson enters the BWM Championship ranked No. 9 in the FedExCup standings.
    • 2003 Deutsche Bank Championship winner Adam Scott finished T7 for his fifth top 10 in eight starts at the event (1/2003, T2/2004, T5/2010, T8/2011, T7/2012). The Aussie is No. 25 in the FedExCup standings.
    • Ryan Moore finished T10 for the second-consecutive year at the Deutsche Bank Championship (T10/2011). He is currently No. 35 in the FedExCup standings.
    • Brandt Snedeker, No. 4 in the FedExCup standings, continues to find TPC Boston to his liking. He has yet to miss a cut in six starts here, with top-6 finishes in his last three starts (T5/2010, T3/2011, 6th/2012).
    • Jeff Overton finished T7 this week to jump from No. 83 to No. 40 in the FedExCup standings to advance to the BMW Championship. The 29-year-old native of Evansville, Ind. needed a 37th place finish or better to advance to next week’s BMW Championship in Indianapolis.
    • Kevin Stadler moves to No. 32 in the FedExCup standings with a T10 finish this week. In his last three starts, he has had eight of 12 rounds in the 60s, including a second-round 65 at the Wyndham Championship (T46), third-round 65 at The Barclays (T10) and final-round 66 at the Deutsche Bank Championship (T10).
    • Steve Stricker (T13 this week) and Hunter Mahan (T39) are the only two players who have never missed a start in the PGA Tour Playoffs (22 overall).







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