The First Tee at the BMW Championship (Crooked Stick GC)
Congratulations are in order for Rory McIlroy, who came from behind to win the Deutsche Bank Championship last week at TPC Boston. Rory was able to overcome a disastrous start, which include a triple bogey and a bogey in the first four holes. When McIlroy spoke at his press conference, he specifically mentioned how his mindset immediately switched to “I've never won a tournament after such a terrible start, let me see if I can go out and win this one". Note to PGA Tour Players, if Rory is able to have such a positive outlook and buckle down mentally, watch…out. The biggest difference in his game was his putting. Rory had gone through a stretch of tournaments where he was not making any mid-range putts, and he was struggling on tough short putts as well. He had recently switched to a “left-hand-low" putter grip, which allows a right handed player to rock their shoulders in a pendulum motion, as opposed to using more of their wrist and hands to manipulate the putter head. On Sunday, Rory trailed Paul Casey by six strokes to start the round, but quickly made up ground by birdieing five of his first nine holes. On the flipside, Casey was +1 through nine holes, and suddenly they were tied heading in to the back nine. Rory played the back nine beautifully, shooting -1 (to Casey's +1) and generally put on a ball-striking show over the entire weekend. When he is on and dialed in, there are few players in the world who can match his ball-striking prowess. His approach game set him up for a couple easy birdie putts inside five feet, and once he started to see a couple putts go in, his confidence grew and he began pouring in putts including an 18 footer on #8 and a 10ft putt on #9.
With the win, Rory moved all the way up to #4 in the Fed Ex Cup rankings. He trails Dustin Johnson (#3), Jason Day (#2) and Patrick Reed (#1),--Adam Scott #6 and Jordan Spieth #7 are just outside the top five but can move into that group with a strong showing this week—however any player inside the top five going into the Tour Championship will control their own destiny. Due to the points resetting after the BMW Championship, any player inside the top five automatically wins the Fed Ex Cup if they win the Tour Championship.
It will be an exciting conclusion to the PGA Tour season, and I am very much looking forward to the best players in the world dueling out for a 10 million dollar prize.