It was simply exquisite golf by Rory McIlroy to win the Deutsche Bank Championship last night. He carded 67, 66 and 65 in his last three rounds and is back to his best.
He has only been with his new putting coach, Phil Kenyon, for a short time but it’s obviously working. The truth is he’s been on form without hitting absolute top form for a while now, but this week everything just clicked.
Perhaps being four over par after three holes on round one provided the kickstart he needed. The Northern Irishman must have been thinking that an awfully long week was ahead of him when standing on that fourth tee on Friday, but he clearly found some inspiration from somewhere.
While it’s wonderful from the perspective of the Ryder Cup, which starts on 27 September, to have McIlroy back on top form, it is equally just a fantastic standalone win.
They don’t look too far ahead these boys, they are right in the moment. McIlroy will want to go on now and win the FedEx Cup – two events remain – and then he will focus on the Ryder Cup.
Victory is set to see McIlroy rise 34 places to fourth in the FedEx Cup standings. Success at TPC Boston has put him in a great position; it’s just a stepping stone but a big step. He will be very happy with the condition of his game at the moment as he’s a real purist.
McIlroy hit seven birdies in his final round to finish two shots clear of Englishman Paul Casey, who led by three heading into yesterday.
It was a great performance from Casey. He fought all the way but he just came up against a better man. It was a tough day given the strength of the wind and Casey’s 73 wasn’t bad in those conditions but 65 from McIlroy was beyond belief.
It’s safe to say that the Americans would not have been too happy with a European one-two.
Turning to the European Masters at Crans-sur-Sierre in Switzerland, it was another impressive victory for Sweden’s Alex Noren on Sunday, but from my perspective and that of the Ryder Cup, there were some noteworthy showings.
Lee Westwood’s flawless 63 in the final round to finish fourth on 12 under was encouraging, while Matthew Fitzpatrick birdied four of the last five holes to make the cut. He went on to finish in the top 10. Defending champion Danny Willett closed with a 64 to secure a share of 12th place on nine under. It’s bubbling up nicely.
Sam Torrance OBE is a multiple Ryder Cup-winning golfer and media commentator. Follow him on Twitter @torrancesam