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McIlroy (5th) hits 16 greens, needs 32 putts

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NEWTOWN SQUARE, Pa. – Rory McIlroy’s 40-foot bid for birdie on the 72nd hole came up 5 inches short.

After watching it stop right in the middle of the cup, he walked up on the wrong side of the ball, stood left-handed, and tapped in his ball with the back of his putter.

That miss told the story of his day.

One back to start the final round, McIlroy opened with nine straight pars and added two birdies on the back nine to shoot 2-under 68 and finish two shots shy of a playoff.

The Ulsterman hit 16 of 18 greens Monday and needed 32 putts. He led the field in the proximity to the hole in the final round (20 feet, 5 inches) but made less than 34 feet worth of putts. The longest putt he holed all day was a 7 ½ -footer for par at 15.

His solo-fifth finish pushed him from 24th to 17th in the FedExCup points race, advancing him to East Lake for the first time since his double trophy-lift in 2016.

After the round, McIlroy declined comment.