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Omens are good as McIlroy targets fresh successes

By Robert Jones

Rory McIlroy hopes his touch is returning in time for the Ryder Cup after storming to victory at the Deutsche Bank Championship.

The world number five overturned a six-shot deficit on the final day at TPC Boston to win by two strokes from Paul Casey.

It was the Holywood man's first PGA Tour title for 16 months and elevated him to fourth in the FedExCup standings.

McIlroy had been four over par after the first three holes of his first round but his play afterwards was outstanding and the 27-year-old was particularly pleased with the improvements in his putting.

He now hopes to maintain the momentum through the remainder of the FedExCup play-offs and on to the Ryder Cup at Hazeltine later this month.

He said: "I knew my game was in good shape, I just needed to do something with the putting. I found something.

"I still need to keep going with it, it's definitely not the finished article, but it's a big step in the right direction.

"I'm excited with how my game is and what I've found this week, and hopefully I can keep it going for the next couple of tournaments, but ultimately into the Ryder Cup and trying to get a fourth one of those."

McIlroy, a four-time major winner, will hope history can repeat itself. After winning the same event four years ago he went on to win the BMW Championship the following week.

He said: "I'm excited to get back to Crooked Stick. It's funny, four years on, and I win here and going back to Indy where I have great memories.

"Once the majors were over with for me, I set my goals as FedExCup and Race to Dubai. Obviously the Ryder Cup is there as well but, individually, FedExCup and Race to Dubai were the two things that I really wanted to focus in on and this has given me a real shot at trying to win that FedExCup for the first time."

Elsewhere, Darren Clarke has said leaving fellow countryman Graeme McDowell out of his Ryder Cup squad was tough.

"G-Mac is a good friend and I was speaking to him frequently during the qualifying process," said captain Clarke.

"It was very difficult, but he's just not firing on all cylinders right now."

However, Clarke has paid tribute to McDowell for the messages of support he has sent, despite the decision.

"The messages he has sent show the class of the man," Clarke said.

"He has been wishing us all the best and volunteering to help in any way he can."

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