Commentary

Rory expected for all playoff events

Updated: August 24, 2014, 10:35 PM ET
By Bob Harig | ESPN.com

PARAMUS, N.J. -- There is no point in Rory McIlroy beating himself up too much over his results this week at the Barclays.

A poor first round left him scrambling to make the cut and a strong second round put him on the fringe of contention, but there just weren't enough birdies over the weekend to make a move.

[+] EnlargeRory McIlroy
Darren Carroll/Getty ImagesComing off three straight victories, Rory McIlroy managed only one round in the 60s at the Barclays, meaning he left a tournament for the first time in a month without a trophy.

So McIlroy settled for another round of 70 on Sunday, a nice effort during the final round of the first FedEx Cup playoff event but one that left him well out of contention.

"It was going to come to an end sooner or later," McIlroy said of his three-tournament winning streak that included two major championships. "But at the end of the day, the great thing about golf is always there's next week.

"Looking forward to going to Boston, a course where I've had success before and I've played well there, and I feel like my game is in good shape. So there's no reason why I can't go there next week and challenge for the title there."

McIlroy, who is ranked No. 1 in the world, came into the tournament first in FedEx Cup points but dropped to second when he completed his round in a tie for 22nd. That is the nature of the playoffs, which give five times more points than regular tournaments.

After winning the Open Championship, WGC-Bridgestone Invitational and PGA Championship, McIlroy couldn't find much to fret about at Ridgewood Country Club despite leaving without a trophy for the first time in more than a month.

"Tee to green is very solid," he said. "I can't really fault that. The only thing that let me down is my putting. I just didn't convert the birdie opportunities I was giving myself, and I had plenty of them over the weekend. So a little bit of work in the putting the next few days, and hopefully it will be a different story in Boston next week."

McIlroy was thought to be leaning toward skipping one of the four FedEx events, and the BMW Championship in Denver would be the most likely.

He has made no secret of his desire to win the FedEx Cup -- which comes with a $10 million bonus -- and can greatly enhance his chances by being among the top five in points heading to the Tour Championship in Atlanta.

But the volatility of the points will make it difficult to skip an event and be assured of being in the top five. If McIlroy were to win at TPC Boston, that possibility exists, but otherwise it appears he will play at Cherry Hills in two weeks.

"I was thinking about it [skipping], but I feel fine," he said. "I feel fresh. I have no problem playing a lot of golf. I'll see where I stand next week, but I'm 90 percent going to be in Denver for sure.

"Not one of the main reasons, but one of the reasons why I want to go to Denver as well is the Broncos play the Colts on Sunday night [Week 1 on Sept. 7]. So I want to go to that as well, first game of the season.

"I've heard a lot of great things about Cherry Hills. The ball obviously goes a mile there, so I'm looking forward to that ... like hitting 7-irons 220 [yards]. I'm all set for there. I definitely don't think I will skip any of them."

Bob Harig | email

Golf Writer, ESPN.com

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