Bunker Mentality

Five things we learned from the Deutsche Bank Championship

Bunker Mentality

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Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland lines holds up the championship cup at the 18th hole after winning in the final …

Let's be honest, we're all incredibly busy. Nobody has time to sit down and watch four rounds of golf coverage - unless, of course, you watch TV for a living, and if that's the case, please email us your number. So in an effort to condense the tournament coverage for you into a few quick hits, here are five things we learned from the Deutsche Bank Championship.

Rory McIlroy's great season gets even better — You know what makes a good season great? Winning a Major championship by eight shots. So what, pray tell, would make a great season even better (aside from another Major)? How about a come-from-behind victory that moves you to the top of the FedExCup standings with a couple weeks to go before the Tour Championship. With his win on Monday at the Deutsche Bank - he led the field for the week in putts per round, putts per GIR, and finished inside the top-five in driving distance and strokes gained - putting - McIlroy is officially No. 1 in the play-offs. Not bad, right? Well get this: Not only does the 23-year-old have the inside track to $10 million, he also leads the US PGA Tour money list, European Tour money list, and is still the top-ranked golfer in the world. It's hard to believe just a month ago we were questioning the kid's work ethic and drive coming into the Bridgestone Invitational.

Tiger's good isn't good enough — It's rare that we talk about a 5-under round, on Sunday, from Tiger Woods not being good enough to win, but once again he came up short in his bid to win his fourth tournament of the year. Woods started hot with four birdies on the front nine but cooled off when it mattered, recording only one birdie over his final nine holes. The positive Woods can take away from the Deutsche is that he didn't struggle over the weekend. For only the fourth time this year, he managed to post two rounds in the 60s over the weekend, and that's something to build on. On the other hand, two incredibly solid rounds from Woods still left him two shots behind eventual leader Rory McIlroy. On this particular occasions, Woods's good wasn't good enough. That doesn't mean things won't change the next time he finds himself in the same position, but for only the first time since the 2005 Tour Championship, Woods fired four straight rounds in the 60s and still came up short. If anything, it tells you he's going to need to find another gear if he wants to catch the likes of Rory McIlroy.

The 54-hole leader curse continues at TPC Boston — For whatever reason, 2012 hasn't been kind to 54-hole leaders on the PGA Tour. It doesn't matter if the lead is a one shot or four, someone from back in the pack has found a way to win. With a three-shot lead on Monday, Louis Oosthuizen appeared to be a decent pick to end the curse. Coming off an 8-under 63, he was playing lights out at the right time. He was a great choice! Or so we thought. Not only did Oosthuizen's game fizzle out, he spent much of the round dealing with a strained pectoral muscle. Having to deal with the curse is one thing, but an injury as well? That's no good. The curse is real, folks. Someone should alert Tim Finchem.

Charley Hoffman could care less about the FedExCup — The US PGA Tour spends the entire year building up the FedExCup play-offs, but if you want to know how much they mean to the players, just look at Charley Hoffman. In contention early in the round, Hoffman imploded on the back nine with a three bogeys and a quadruple-bogey. Suddenly he went from making it to the BMW Championship to on the bubble. The thing is, Hoffman had no clue where he stood. All day, players came of the course and talked about looking at the board and what they needed to do to move on to the next leg of the play-offs. But when Hoffman was asked after his round about the importance of the par putt on the last - a putt that secured him a spot at Crooked Stick almost on the number (No. 69) - Hoffman gave the most anti-FedExCup answer ever.

"No clue," Hoffman said, when asked if he knew what was riding on the par putt. "Obviously pretty disappointed how I finished on that back nine.  I was just trying to make that putt.  I had no idea at all."

Long live the FedExCup play-offs!

Phil Mickelson shows signs of life — We've been waiting for a nice finish from Phil Mickelson since ... well, since he posted a top-10 finish in May (May!) at the HP Byron Nelson Championship. He finished six shots back of McIlroy, but Mickelson's T-4 was a positive sign with the Ryder Cup coming up later this month.

Over the last couple of months Mickelson appeared to run out of gas on the weekend. This time around, however, he posted rounds of 68-66 and looked to be in good spirits after his round. It remains to be seen if Davis Love III gives him a leading role at Medinah, but the American Ryder Cup captain has to be relieved to see Mickelson produce a decent finish with four straight rounds in the 60s.

Jonathan Wall , Yahoo! Sports

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