There were questions about when the real Rory McIlroy was going to show up as recently as last Friday.
McIlroy played back to the form that made him the No. 1 player in the world a few years ago when he shot 6-under-par 65 to win the Deutsche Bank Championship for the second time, beating Paul Casey of England by two strokes at TPC Boston in Norton, Mass.
“Things can turn around very quickly in this game,” said McIlroy, who was 4-over after his first three holes in the opening round. “I think those last 15 holes on Friday were definitely a turning point. Not just in this tournament, but maybe in my season.
“It’s amazing in this game how things can change so quickly from being 4-over over after three holes … (to) walking away with a trophy this week. … This has given me a real shot at trying to win that FedEx Cup for the first time,”
McIlroy, who won the Deutsche Bank in 2012, had slipped to No. 5 in the rankings but by winning rose 34 spots to No. 4 in the FedEx Cup standings heading to the third event of the players this week–the BMW Championship at Crooked Stick in Carmel, Ind.
The megastar from Northern Ireland finished with a score of 15-under 269.
Casey, whose only PGA victory came in the 2009 Shell Houston Open, took a three-shot lead into the final round after three straight 66s, but closed with a 73.
PGA champion Jimmy Walker shot 70 to finish three strokes back in solo third, while Adam Scott of Australia was another stroke back in fourth following a bogey-free 65.
Patrick Reed, who won The Barclays last week to open the playoffs, birdied the 17th hole en route to a 69 and was five shots back in a tie for fifth with James Hahn, of Alameda and Cal, and Adrian Gomez of Argentina, who also had 69s.
U.S. Open champion Dustin Johnson carded a 66 and was one more shot down in a tie for eighth with Jason Kokrak (66), Billy Hurley III (70), David Hearn (70) of Canada, Louis Oosthuizen (71) of South Africa, Ryan Moore (72) and Kevin Chappell (73) of Fresno and UCLA.
Top-ranked Jason Day of Australia tied for 15th after a 67, third-ranked Jordan Spieth shot 69 to tie for 21st, defending champion Rickie Fowler tied for 46th following a 72 and Olympic champion Justin Rose of England struggled to a 79 and tied for 57th.