NORTON, Mass. – There are no telltale signs, no precursors to what is to come, just overpowering golf and a scorecard filled with more red then the Green Monster seats at a Red Sox game.
After a sluggish two days at the Deutsche Bank Championship, Rory McIlroy unleashed a barrage of birdies on his way to a 7-under 64 to move to within a chip shot of the lead and his next milestone – the FedEx Cup.
The difference between Days 1 and 2 and his Sunday special was only in the scorecard. Well that and on the greens.
“I don’t think you ever (sense a good round),” said McIlroy, who needed just 27 putts on Sunday after averaging 28.5 the first two days. “You just keep playing, you take it one hole at a time. I turned in 3 under, but it's not like I haven't done that before. The first couple of days I played well at the start and just couldn’t keep it going.”
McIlroy’s round could have been even better had he not played the par-5 closing hole conservatively. With the tees moved up and a helping wind, the world No. 1 decided to layup off the tee with a 5-wood, missed the green with his second shot and lipped out his birdie attempt from 11 feet.
“I had driver out today and then I was thinking, you're 7 under par for the round, you want to take the bad number out of play, I guess, and at least I still had a chance of making a birdie, hitting a 5-wood on the fairway. I played it a little conservatively,” said McIlroy, who finished the day at 10 under and was a stroke off the lead.
“You could have made birdie just as easy doing what I did by hitting driver. I thought lay back because there's no point in ruining a great round of golf like that by one bad tee shot.”