NORTON, Mass. – It’s not often that world No. 1 Rory McIlroy assumes a secondary role in the final pairing.
It’s not often that the Northern Irishman shoots 67 and falls three shots behind, either.
Despite another solid day at the Deutsche Bank Championship, McIlroy was lapped by fellow playing competitor Louis Oosthuizen on Sunday after the South African’s dazzling, nine-birdie performance at TPC Boston.
The newly minted PGA champion turned in a 1-under 35 but found himself six shots behind as he stepped to the 11th tee. A birdie there helped “spark me to life,” he said, and as they walked to the 12th hole, McIlroy turned to Oosthuizen and quipped, “Finally I’ve got the honor. I finally feel like I’ve got some arms again.”
“It’s hard not to look at the guy beside you making all these birdies and feel like you’re going backward,” McIlroy said afterward. “I thought if I went out and shot another solid score in the mid-60s, like I did, I’d be in a good position going into tomorrow.
“I’ve come from further behind before. It’s going to be an interesting day tomorrow.”
What’s more, a come-from-behind victory on Monday at the Deutsche Bank may lock up Player of the Year honors for McIlroy, 23, who already has won twice this season (Honda, PGA) on the PGA Tour.
“I’m very happy that I’m still in touching distance going into tomorrow,” he said.