One year ago this weekend Rory Mcllroy came into Boston fresh off of dominating win at the 2012 PGA Championship on Kiawah Island's Ocean Course. He had once again shown the golf world that he was the best by elevating himself to the world number one ranking. He would use the Deutsche Bank Championship, and then the BMW Championship two weeks later to strengthen that claim.
Mcllroy won at TPC Boston last year by a stroke in a thrilling Labor Day duel with Louis Oosthuizen and Tiger Woods. His final round 67 allowed him to overtake Oosthuizen, who had a three stroke lead after the third round, and also hold off a charging Woods who shot 66.
He was the best player in the world and it wasn't close. If anyone had said at the time that his mid-September win in Chicago would be his last up until now, no one sane would've believed it.
Mcllroy's play late in the 2012 season helped him secure a $200 Million endorsement deal with Nike in January and things seemed to go south immediately.
Mcllroy had not been playing well in international events late last year, and after a tie for 33rd at the World Match Play Championship in late February, came the embarrassment at the Florida swing's Honda Classic. In the second round, he melted down on the back nine and after dunking his second shot on 18 into the water, he walked off the course. He withdrew claiming mental fatigue and a wisdom tooth ache.
Since then it's been an up and down year, with some signs of hope followed by poor play and then more lights of hope. He finished second at the Valero Texas Open, and followed that with four more top 10 finishes, topped by an 8th place finish at The Players Championship. He had mediocre finishes at The Masters and the U.S. Open, followed by a missed cut at The Open Championship. And then earlier this month he once again showed signs of life with an eighth place finish at the PGA Championship.
Mcllroy also played pretty well last week at The Barclay's. Perhaps re-visiting a venue that he won on last year will stir the greatness we all know is in there. In an interview with pgatour.com's Brian Wacker Mcllory elaborated:
“Going back to venues where you’ve won always gives you positive vibes and makes you feel good,” said McIlroy, who added that he also needs to avoid making what he called stupid little mental errors. “The two majors I’ve defended at, you go back to somewhere different and it doesn’t really feel like (you’re defending). This golf course sets up well for me.”
Mcllroy visited Wall Street this past Monday and rang the opening bell to open the trading day. It's become a tradition each year for defending Deutsche Bank Champion heading into the event.
He'll tee it up tomorrow afternoon with Nick Watney and Robert Castro. A good start in the second leg of the FedEx Cup playoffs as he had last year here will be key to being in the hunt come the weekend.
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