Thirty days ago Nike announced that they were getting out of the golf business. No PGA player that was using Nike golf balls and clubs has won in the last 8 majors and the golf division was losing money. Yet Paul Casey and Rory McIlroy both who play Nike clubs and balls, finished 1st and 2nd at the 2016 Deutsche Bank Tournament so they may want to reconsider.
It seemed for a while that 2016 was going to be the last hurrah for the TPC of Boston. The Deutsche Bank Championship had sponsored the tournament for 14 years, and with the transformation into a FedEx Cup event the top tour players were guaranteed to play in Norton, MA on Labor Day weekend. New England based EMC, an information technology company with over 70,000 employees based in Hopkinton, MA a been a long-time sponsor has now taken over as title sponsor.
With past champions like Tiger Woods, Adam Scott, Rickie Fowler and Rory McIlroy, the tournament has always been a favorite for local golf fans. Despite the event taking place on a holiday weekend, over 140,000 fans attended the 2015 tournament. This year a past champion Rory Mcllroy made a major move both on Saturday and Sunday to captures his second DBC Championship and in doing so moved to 4th place in the Fed Ex Cup race with two events to go.
Rory McIlroy has won 11 PGA tour events, but his best finish in 2015 was one third place finish at the World Championship. In the opening round the trouble with the putter was obvious once again. Rory bogeyed his second hole and triple-bogeyed the next leaving him at four over par for the first three holes. He quickly found his putting stroke and amassed a comeback that was one of the best ever in the young professional’s career.
“I used my frustration to motivate me to settle down and focus on what was ahead of me,” Rory said after scrambling for an even par total 71. The putt for triple bogey was a 15 footer that proved critical. “It was probably the best 15-footer for a triple bogey that I ever made.” said McIlroy. “I had made an adjustment in my putting stroke that was suggested by Phil Kenyon. I tried to simplify the motion as much as I could and get it going on sort of a good arc. And keeping the putter face square at impact.”
The tip seemed to work because after that Rory played the next 33 holes in 8 under par. But Paul Casey, who also uses Nike clubs, was finding a groove of his own.
Casey has won 14 times in Europe but only once on the PGA Tour. Casey shot a round of 5 under par 66 in each of the first three rounds. Casey claimed a two stroke lead over Brian Harman when he hit a 3 iron on the par 5 18th hole that left only 29 inches for a tap-in eagle putt. McIlroy now trailed by 6 strokes. But he was full of confidence also after hitting a 4 iron on the approach shot to 18 and missed the cup by only 3 feet leaving him a tap-in eagle putt.
On Monday, the wind was gusting to 30 MPH but both players were ready. McIlroy birdied 5 of the holes on the front nine and 2 more birds on the back. On the 18th with the wind blowing in his face, Rory had almost 250 yards to the green and put the shot in the bunker. A great sand save left him with a two stroke lead. Paul Casey had 4 bogeys in his round but drilled a 3 iron on the last hole, needing an eagle to catch McIlroy, unfortunately the 50-foot putt scooted by the hole and McIlroy won for the first time in 446 days. Mcllroy captured his 2nd Deutsche Bank Championship and is in perfect position for a run at the Fed EX Cup Championship.