McIlroy's FedEx Cup fate in his hands despite another bizarre four-putt

McIlroy's FedEx Cup fate in his hands despite another bizarre four-putt

Rory McIlroy reacts to missing his third putt on the 12th He had to hole a four footer to avoid a five-putt. 

It says a lot about Rory McIlroy than he can afford to four-putt the same green two days in a row, hand the field five shots and still finish in the top 10 and keep his FedEx Cup fate firmly in his own hands.

The Holywood star's ability to mix the sublime with the ridiculous was in evidence again at the BMW Championship in Denver last night when he four-putted the par-three 12th for the second day running.

It was a déjà vu moment for McIlroy but he bounced back solidly with close range birdies at the 16th and 17th before signing for a four under par 66 that left him tied for eighth behind Billy Horschel on eight under, securing his place in the Top-5 in the FedEx Cup entering the Tour Championship and with it a chance to top a dream season with that $10m bonus.

On Friday, the world No 1 took four stabs from four feet at the 204-yard par-three, racking up a triple bogey six in two over 72 that left effectively cost him the tournament. It sapped all his momentum and left nine shots behind leader Horschel entering the final round of the third FedEx Cup play off event at Cherry Hills.

Playing his seventh event in nine weeks and his third in a row with another to come at the FedEx Cup finale, the Tour Championship in Atlanta this week, McIlroy may be running on empty.

It didn't show early in his final round when he birdied the fourth and fifth and then produced a shot of genius at the 395-yard seventh, holing a 56-yard pitch from deep rough for an eagle two.

Then disaster struck again at the par-three 12th. 

Putting downhill for birdie form 19 feet, he ran his first putt nearly three feet past, shoved his par putt right and lipped out with his bogey effort from three feet again before eventually holing a good four four-footer for a double bogey five.

McIlroy finished six shots behind Horschel, who closed with a 69 to win by two from Bubba Watson on 14 under and go into the Tour Championship at No 2 in the FedEx Cup standings behind Chris Kirk.

It was a sweet win for Horschel, who dumped his approach in the water on the 72nd hole in Boston last week and handed the BMW Championship title to Kirk.

This time he could look on and see Sergio Garcia take eight at the par-five 17th and leave him a clear run for the line.

As for Graeme McDowell, a three under 67 for a share of 36th on one over brought the Portrush man's FedEx Cup run to an end and his next outing before the Ryder Cup comes in a dress rehearsal in ISPS Handa Wales Open at Celtic Manor in a fortnight.