NORTON, Mass. – With pristine weather conditions for the third day in a row, several players went low during the third round of the Deutsche Bank Championship. Here’s how things stand heading into the Monday holiday finish, with Russell Henley holding a one-shot lead:
What it means: Henley began the day two shots off the pace but moved to the top of the standings after a 6-under 65. A winner this year at the Honda Classic, he’ll try to add another title while a host of contenders – including the red-hot McIlroy – lurk a few shots back.
Round of the day: McIlroy started strong, with birdies on two of his first three holes, then followed with birdies on Nos. 9 and 10. He never dropped a shot, and after completing a 7-under 64 he moved from the middle of the pack to within two shots of the lead as he looks to win at TPC Boston for the second time in three years.
Best of the rest: Playing alongside McIlroy, Kirk matched him birdie for birdie while also carding a 64. A winner this season at Sea Island, Kirk notched three birdies in a row on Nos. 9-11 before a chip-in birdie on No. 17. He closed with another birdie on No. 18, his seventh of the day.
Biggest disappointment: Patrick Reed started the day two shots off the lead, but after a disastrous 82 he will miss the 54-hole cut. Reed made four double bogeys in a five-hole stretch on Nos. 10-14, and after a closing bogey on No. 18 he’ll have an unexpected extra day to prepare for next week’s BMW Championship.
Main storyline heading into Monday: Henley has won twice on Tour in his brief career so he can handle the pressure, and he even tracked down McIlroy in a playoff win at Honda. McIlroy looks to win for the fourth time in his last five starts. A number of Americans – including Henley and Horschel – could cloud the Ryder Cup selection process for Tom Watson with a win.
Shot of the day: Kirk appeared to be in trouble on No. 17 after his ball caught the left rough and left him with an awkward stance. He turned a potential bogey into a birdie, though, when he hacked out a chip that bounded toward the hole, hit the flagstick and dropped.
Quote of the day: “I just wanted to go out there and shoot something low. I wanted to get to double digits under par.” – McIlroy