Kirk beats out Horschel for Deutsche Bank title|
Norton, MA (SportsNetwork.com) - Chris Kirk fired a final-round, 5-under
66 and he was able to hold off Billy Horschel and win the Deutsche Bank
Championship by two shots on Monday.
Kirk, who jumped to the top of the FedExCup playoff points list with two
events to play, finished the week at 15-under-par 269 at TPC Boston. His last
win was at the McGladrey Classic earlier this season.
"Just trying to go play like I did yesterday," said Kirk, who shot a 64 in
Sunday's third round. "Obviously I didn't shoot quite as low as I did
yesterday, but you know I really felt good with my putter today and just
unbelievable. Obviously my biggest win ever."
Horschel, needing a birdie to tie or an eagle to win heading to the par-5 last
hole, put his drive in the middle of the fairway, giving him a shot to make
the green in two. However, the 27-year-old chunked his second shot, which
landed well short and in a hazard. Horschel (69) settled for a bogey and fell
into a three-way tie for second.
He was joined there at 13-under 271 by Geoff Ogilvy (65) and third-round
leader Russell Henley (70).
This year's Open champion and PGA Championship winner Rory McIlroy, who won
this event last year and entered the FedExCup playoffs in the No. 1 spot, shot
a 1-under 70 to finish tied for fifth with John Senden (66) at 11-under 273.
McIlroy remained No. 2 in the standings.
Jason Day, who entered the day two shots back along with Kirk and McIlroy,
carded a final-round 71 and he tied for seventh with this year's U.S. Open
champion Martin Kaymer at 10-under 274.
Entering the week with the No. 1 spot in the FedExCup standings after his
victory at The Barclays, Hunter Mahan finished in sole possession of 64th at
1-over 285 following a 68 on Monday. He is now No. 3 in the standings behind
Kirk and McIlroy.
Playing in the final pairing together, Horschel birdied the first hole to tie
Henley atop the leaderboard at 12-under, putting Kirk two shots back at the
time. Right after Henley took the outright lead with a birdie on three, Kirk
poured in back-to-back gains at three and four to get one shot back at
minus-12 with Horschel and Day.
A Horschel birdie on the par-5 seventh tied him with Henley again, while Kirk,
Day and Ogilvy, who made his fifth birdie of the day on No. 10, were all one
shot back at minus-12.
Horschel broke free of Henley when Henley bogeyed No. 8, but Kirk came through
with a birdie on nine to tie Horschel at 13-under with Henley, Ogilvy
and Day one shot back.
Day struggled down the stretch with a bogey on 10 and a double-bogey on 12,
putting him well off the pace and he never contended again.
Ogilvy got in on the action with another birdie on No. 13 to tie Kirk and
Horschel. Another bogey for Henley on 10 was followed by a 33-foot birdie make
on 11 to keep him one shot behind.
Kirk took the outright lead for the first time with a 23-foot birdie at No.
13, putting him at minus-14, one shot ahead of Ogilvy and Horschel.
Playing in the penultimate group, Kirk remained calm and made a clutch, 14-
foot par putt on 15, keeping his streak of 34 straight holes without a bogey
alive, and more importantly keeping him in the lead.
"In that kind of situation it's unbelievable just trying to control the
feelings going through your body, trying to factor in how much further you're
hitting all your irons just because you're so pumped up," Kirk said about how
he felt coming down the stretch in his final round. "I may be a little bit
more calm than some other guys in that situation, but I'm still pretty much
freaking out inside."
Kirk came through in the clutch again with another gain on 16, putting him two
ahead, but Horschel would not go quietly as he made a long birdie putt of his
own at No. 16 shortly after to remain one shot back.
From there it was virtually a two-player race between Kirk and Horschel. Kirk
survived a tough second shot out of a divot on 17 and he made par. With
Horschel also making par on 17, the 18th was his last chance to make a move
and catch Kirk.
After watching Kirk settle for par at the last, Horschel had a chance to win
with an eagle if he could make it to the green in two on the par-5, 530-yard
His first shot was right in the middle of the fairway. From 211 yards out,
Horschel took his swing on his second shot and immediately reacted in a
negative manner as he watched the ball land in a big hazard separating the
fairway from the green.
"The worst swing I've made all week," Horschel said about his second shot that
found the hazard.
Needing to make his next shot after a drop, Horschel's approach was 11 feet
off and he missed the ensuing par putt, dropping him into a tie for second.
McIlroy had an up-and-down day, which started with a gain on four followed by
back-to-back bogeys on five and six. He got those shots right back, however,
with two straight birdies on seven and eight, getting him two shots back at
The No. 1 player in the world did not make a big enough splash on the back
nine as he bogeyed 10 and 12 to push him well off the pace. McIlroy finished
his round with birdies on 16 and 18 to finish four shots back.
NOTES: Kirk did not make a bogey on his final 37 holes of the week ... Kirk
jumped from No. 17 to No. 1 in the standings with the win ... Stewart Cink,
Brandt Snedeker, Vijay Singh and Luke Donald were among those who were
eliminated from the FedExCup playoffs ... Last year's FedExCup champion and
this event's defending champion Henrik Stenson finished tied for 26th at 6-
under 278 and he is No. 55 in the standings ... Kirk earned $1,440,000 with
this victory ... Next week the PGA Tour heads to Colorado for the BMW
Championship, where Zach Johnson won last year.
09/01 20:19:00 ET