NORTON, Mass. – John Merrick needed to roll in a putt from off the green on the final hole Monday to give himself a shot at advancing in the FedExCup Playoffs. But his putt from just outside 57 feet didn’t fall, forcing Merrick to settle for birdie, his Playoffs coming to an end.
Merrick entered the Deutsche Bank Championship ranked 98th in points but was 5 under coming into the final round. He shot a 1-unde r70 that currently has him in a tie for 20th. He’s projected to finish 72nd in points – two spots away from a trip to the BMW Championship.
“I played solid, just not good enough,” Merrick said. “When you start out at 98, you can’t expect to just cruise through to the next round.
“You’ve got to play well – and I almost did.”
NORTOn, Mass. – With the final groups now on the back nine, the Deutsche Bank Championship has turned into a three-horse race.
Rory McIlroy, at 20 under, has a two-stroke lead over playing partner Louis Oosthuizen. Tiger Woods is another stroke back.
No other players are within six shots of the lead.
McIlroy and Woods are both 4 under on their rounds, while Oosthuizen is 1 over.
Phil Mickelson, currently playing the 16th hole, is also 4 under on his round and tied with Dustin Johnson for fourth place at 13 under.
McIlroy has a shot at the 72-hole tournament record of 22 under held by Vijay Singh (2008) and Charley Hoffman (2010).
In the final round of the 2012 Deutsche Bank Championship, Tiger Woods hits his 137-yard approach shot on the par-4 6th hole to ten feet then sinks the putt for birdie.
Woods shot a 4-under 32 on his first nine holes Monday and is now at 17 under. That’s three strokes behind current leader Rory Mcilroy.
Woods opened with three pars but has birdied four of his last six holes. His iron play has been terrific, with approach shots leaving him makeable birdie putts. In fact, none of his birdie putts has been longer than 11 feet.
NORTON, Mass. – PGA TOUR rookie Jonas Blixt was just inside the top 70 in FedExCup points when he finished his round Monday. But he soon fell outside the number who’ll advance to next week’s BMW Championship.
Asked after his round what he would do for the next few hours while the top 70 become official, Blixt replied: “I don’t know. Pray. Go scream or something.”
Blixt, who entered this week ranked 97th in points, made a valiant effort to get inside the top 70, shooting 6 under for the week, including a final-round 3-under 68.
But Dicky Pride, who was one spot ahead of Blixt at No. 96, also finished with the same score. He’s projected to get the final spot while Blixt is projected at N0. 71. Pride finished with birdies on his last two holes, while Blixt birdied the 17th but failed to birdie the par-5 18th.
Straddling that top 70 cutline during his final round took a mental toll.
“It’s almost the worst position ever,” he said. “It’s a little nerve-wracking.
“At least I played a good round today and I can be happy about that. I’ll look at it in a positive way and keep my fingers crossed the next couple hours.”
NORTON, Mass. – Hunter Mahan won two PGA TOUR events early this season. But he hasn’t had a top-10 finish in his last six starts, including this week’s Deutsche Bank Championship, as he finished Monday at 3 under, which currently has him outside the top 35.
“You want to make the team,” Mahan said after shooting an even-par 71 in the final round. “It’s plain and simple. It’s not like you can just forget about it. It’s not like it’s not there and not going to impact you.”
Just two of Mahan’s 12 rounds on TOUR have been in the 60s. His last top-10 finish on TOUR was at the AT&T National I n early July.
“What I'm trying to think right now is what can I do to start changing my game right now,” said Mahan, who was on the Ryder Cup team two years ago. “I don't know, I'll just have to think about it, I guess, and try to strategize and change something up. “
By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
NORTON, Mass. -- After making birdies on his final two holes during Monday's final round of the Deutsche Bank Championship, Charl Schwartzel just might have played his way into the third event of the FedExCup Playoffs.
Schwartzel called himself "doubtful" for Crooked Stick and later put the percentage as to whether he would play at 50-50. If he doesn't play, the former Masters champion said he expected to take a month off and perhaps return at the European Tour's Dunhill Links Championship in October.
"I actually injured it at the U.S. Open, and it seems to be coming back," Schwartzel said. "It's not as advanced as it was there. It's not torn, but it's very uncomfortable, and I don't want to get to that stage where I can't play for the rest of the year. This is my seventh in a row. It was a little bit too much coming up.
"But I'll see. Maybe we'll have to get some rest and maybe it'll be okay, but it's very uncomfortable at the moment."
Schwartzel was 68th in the FedExCup standings -- two above the cutoff for the BMW Championship when he finished off a round of even par 71 on Monday. That was considerably better than the 79 he shot in the third round that included a four-putt from 3 feet at the 18th hole -- the same distance that produced a birdie on Sunday.
"Pretty mixed feelings," Schwartzel said when asked to describe his emotions. "I obviously feel that I finished well. Teeing off Sunday, I figured I could win. It was good to finish well. I didn't play particularly well, and it was nice to hit a few good shots on the last holes."
NORTON, Mass. – The three-shot lead Louis Oosthuizen carried into the final round is now gone. And now he doesn’t even have a share of the lead
An errant tee shot at the par-4 fifth led to a double bogey for Oosthuizen, who dropped into a tie for the lead with Rory McIlroy, who bogeyed the hole.
Oosthuizen found the hazard with his drive, and had to take a penalty stroke. He then laid up with his third shot and couldn’t covert the bogey putt from 15 feet.
On the next hole, the par-4 sixth, McIlroy hit a terrific approach shot to 3 feet, 4 inches to set up his go-ahead birdie.
McIlroy has birdied four of his first six holes and is at 19 under for the tournament. Oosthuizen is 1 over on his round.
Tiger Woods is in solo third at 15 under, having birdied the fourth and sixth holes. Playing partner Dustin Johnson is at 14 under.
Past Deutsche Bank champion Charley Hoffman and Phil Mickelson have each made moves up the leaderboard. Hoffman is at 13 under and Mickelson has joined a group at 12 under.
Steve Stricker birdied the par-4 sixth hole with a 37-foot putt in Monday's final round of the Deutsche Bank Championship. Stricker made the turn at 10 under for the day and inside the top 10 on the leaderboard.
NORTON, Mass. – When Aaron Baddeley started Monday’s final round of the Deutsche Bank Championship, his target score was to shoot 66. That would put him at 6 under for the tournament and assure his place inside the top 70 who’ll advance to next week’s BMW Championship.
Alas, he came up short, shooting a 1-under 70. And it appears he also came up short to make it to Crooked Stick. Having started the week ranked 85th in FedExCup points, Baddeley is projected at 73. It’s not official yet, but he knew after walking off the course Monday that his fate was essentially sealed.
“We’re having a baby, which we’re excited about. So I’m not sure if I’m going to play any of the Series yet. Just take some time off, enjoy the family and enjoy the baby.
“I really have no idea. I wasn’t planning on being out of the Playoffs.”
Baddeley was in great shape early, with birdies on three of his first four holes. But he bogeyed the fifth, suffered two more bogeys, and didn’t post another birdie until the par-5 18th.
Even then, an eagle at the last would have slipped him inside the top 70 but he couldn’t hole his bunker shot.
“I didn’t hit the bunker shot that I wanted,” he said. “I thought it might spin over to the right and go in.”
It didn’t … and so he’s going home.
NORTON, Mass. – Tournament leader Louis Oosthuizen has teed off to begin his final round of the Deutsche Bank Championship. He leads playing partner Rory McIlroy by three strokes.
This is just the third time in Oosthuizen’s PGA TOUR career that he has been the 54-leader.
The first time came at the 2010 British Open when he shot 71 and romped to victory at St. Andrews. The second time came earlier this year at the Shell Houston Open, when he carded a final-round 75 to drop to third place.
In terms of final-round scoring average, Oosthuizen ranks tied for 53rd on TOUR in that category with a stroke average of 70.60.