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Sep 14, 2014

McIlroy in title hunt even without his ‘A’ game

ATLANTA (Reuters) – As Rory McIlroy hunts his fifth tournament win of the year at this week’s Tour Championship, his rivals could well feel a sense of foreboding that the world number one is tied for the lead despite not playing at his best.

Just as Tiger Woods in his heyday used to intimidate his peers by contending for titles even when not possessing his ‘A’ game, McIlroy has swept to the top of the leaderboard at East Lake Golf Club without playing at his best.

Sep 14, 2014

Sense of playoff deja vu for Furyk at East Lake

ATLANTA (Reuters) – Jim Furyk will go into Sunday’s final round at the Tour Championship where FedExCup honours and a $10 million bonus are also on the line with a sense of deja vu after clinching both titles in 2010.

Four years ago, American Furyk went into the fourth and final playoff event ranked 11th in the FedExCup standings while this year he was seeded seventh coming into East Lake.

Sep 13, 2014

Golf-Late eagle lifts McIlroy into tie for lead

ATLANTA, Sept 13 (Reuters) – Rory McIlroy spectacularly eagled the par-five 15th to join Billy Horschel in a tie for the lead in the Tour Championship on Saturday and set up a thrilling conclusion to the 2013-14 PGA Tour season.

With the FedExCup playoff title and a bonus jackpot of $10 million on the line at East Lake Golf Club, world number one McIlroy sank a 26-foot putt to draw level at the top, then parred the last three holes to card a three-under-par 67.

Sep 13, 2014

Woodland sizzles after overcoming dehydration

ATLANTA (Reuters) – Dehydrated after two days of sapping heat and humidity at East Lake Golf Club, Gary Woodland fired the best score of the week at the Tour Championship on Saturday after making sure he drank a lot of fluid overnight.

The long-hitting American felt energized heading into the third round and, though conditions were once again sweltering in the PGA Tour’s season-ending event, he surged up the leaderboard with a sparkling seven-under-par 63.

Sep 12, 2014

Golf-Low flyer Kirk getting used to PGA Tour spotlight

ATLANTA, Sept 12 (Reuters) – FedExCup points leader Chris Kirk has, for the most part, been happy to fly under the radar during his four full seasons on the PGA Tour but says he has relished being in the spotlight the past three weeks.

The 29-year-old American clinched his second victory of the season earlier this month to vault to the top of the playoff standings and he maintained that position by tying for 36th at the BMW Championship outside Denver on Sunday.

Sep 12, 2014

Golf-Walker Cup rivals go head-to-head at East Lake

ATLANTA, Sept 12 (Reuters) – Seven years after being fierce rivals at the Walker Cup, Billy Horschel and Rory McIlroy will play together in Saturday’s third round of the Tour Championship where playoff honours and a staggering $10 million bonus are on the line.

American Horschel, the game’s hottest player over the past three weeks, holds a two-shot lead in the PGA Tour’s season-ending event but Northern Irishman McIlroy, the world number one, is close behind in a tie for second.

Sep 12, 2014

An in-form Horschel two ahead at Tour Championship

ATLANTA (Reuters) – Billy Horschel, seeking a second consecutive PGA Tour victory, birdied three of the last eight holes to move two strokes clear of the chasing pack in the Tour Championship second round on Friday.

The American, ranked second in the FedExCup standings coming into this week, fired a second successive four-under-par 66 at East Lake Golf Club to seize control of the fourth and final playoff event with an eight-under total of 132.

Sep 12, 2014

McIlroy lurks after rare bounce, strong finish

ATLANTA (Reuters) – A bizarre bounce of his ball into a spectator’s pocket and an unexpected birdie-birdie finish helped Rory McIlroy surge into contention for the Tour Championship with a sizzling display in Friday’s second round.

The world number one, hunting his fifth victory of the year worldwide, fired a five-under-par 65 on a steamy day at East Lake Golf Club to finish at six under, two strokes off the lead in the PGA Tour’s fourth and final playoff event.

Sep 12, 2014

$10 million takes precedence over labor day for Horschel

ATLANTA (Reuters) – In-form American Billy Horschel has a great deal on his mind at this week’s Tour Championship, where a staggering playoff bonus of $10 million is up for grabs while he also prepares for the arrival of his first child.

Horschel’s wife, Brittany, is scheduled to give birth in two weeks’ time but they have agreed that tournament golf and the chance to win FedExCup playoff honors will take precedence if their baby girl makes an earlier arrival than expected.

Sep 11, 2014

Makeshift caddie change no problem for Day at East Lake

ATLANTA (Reuters) – Six days after Jason Day pulled out of the BMW Championship with a back complaint, his caddie was forced to withdraw from the opening round of the elite Tour Championship on Thursday because of a back issue.

Caddie Col Swatton left the course after seven holes and was replaced by Day’s mental coach, Jason Goldsmith, but the switch worked surprisingly well as the Australian went on to card three birdies en route to a three-under-par 67.