By Brian Keogh
Brian Keogh is a golf correspondent for The Irish Sun and a contributor to The Irish Times, Golf Digest Ireland and other golf publications. The following excerpt from Brian’s Irish Golf Desk is used with permission.
RORY MCILROY FINISHED SIX SHOTS BEHIND Masters champion Adam Scott in The Barclays but wasn’t the only one left to regret what might have been. The young Ulster native will no doubt reflect on four double bogeys and six bogeys that ultimately proved to be too much of a disadvantage to overcome at Liberty National.
As Scott took advantage of a series of calamities by others to post an immaculate, five-under 66 and sneak away with a one-shot win over Graham DeLaet, Tiger Woods, Justin Rose and Gary Woodland, McIlroy was joint 19th on five under after a 72. The 24-year old world No 3 was one over for his last two rounds and while he showed more than a few sparks of brilliance, especially in his six-under 65 in the second round, he knows he needs to cut out the mistakes that led to three double bogeys in an opening 71 and another in yesterday’s one over par closing round.
There was a silver lining to the cloud for McIlroy, however, as he moved up 13 places to 36th in the FedEx Cup standings—just outside the top 30 who qualify for the Tour Championship in Atlanta.
As for the first playoff event, Woods succumbed to a back spasm on the par-five 13th hole. According to agency reports, he hooked a fairway metal so far left that it landed in a swamp on the other side of the 15th fairway, leading to bogey. He dropped another shot at the 15th but somehow birdied the 16th and 17th to go to the last needing a birdie to force a playoff only to see his 25 footer from the fringe came up a roll and a half short.
Woods broke 70 in all four rounds for the first time this season but his presence on the first tee for the opening round of the Deutsche Bank Championship next Friday remains to be seen.
“I felt great until that tee shot at the 12th,” Woods said of his lower back pain, which he blamed on a sort hotel bed.
Scott was shocked his 11-under par total was good enough.
“I can’t believe it, to be honest. I just played a good round today and I came in and really didn’t think it had a chance. But obviously, things went my way a lot out there.”
Brian Keogh covers golf for The Irish Sun and contributes to a variety of golf publications. Pay him a visit at Irish Golf Desk.