Rory's McIlroy's brave charge falters and falls short of the mark in Deutsche Bank Championship
Rory McIlroy's bid to win the Deutsche Bank Championship fell just short as the Ulsterman came home joint fifth.
The in-form world number one was tied with Australian John Senden on 11 under, four shots behind the new champion Chris Kirk.
A flawless seven-under 64 had left the Holywood ace just two shots off the lead going into the final round in Boston but a 70 yesterday – one under for the day – wasn't enough to claim the prize.
American Kirk had been two shots back at the start of play but dazzled in the last round, carding a bogey free five under 66 score to finish on 15 under and become the FedEx number one.
Closest challengers Geoff Ogilvy, overnight leader Russell Henley and Billy Horschel finished on 13 under, two shots adrift.
Horschel had the chance to force a play-off after finding the fairway at the par five last but hit a shocking second into a hazard and made bogey.
It's Kirk's third career PGA Tour win and second this season after triumphing at the McGladrey Classic.
The timely success has strengthened his shout for a Ryder Cup role. He also takes home a cheque for $1.44m. Martin Kaymer and Jason Day finished just behind McIlroy on 10 under.
Having won three of his last four tournaments, at the Open Championship, the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational and the US PGA Championship in recent weeks, McIlroy was confident he could keep that winning run going but it was an up and down round featuring five birdies but four bogies.
Meanwhile, European captain Paul McGinley will leave personal feelings to one side as he weighs up current form against Ryder Cup experience in making his wild card selections today.
The nine automatic qualifiers for McGinley's team were confirmed on Sunday when Stephen Gallacher narrowly failed to dislodge Graeme McDowell from the side, the Scot finishing one shot outside the tie for second place he needed in the Italian Open.
McGinley hailed Gallacher's "terrific performance" in closing with a flawless 65 to follow his seventh place in the previous event, but was quick to stress he would coldly assess the situation after the conclusion of last night's Deutsche Bank Championship.
Although there wasn't any qualifying points on offer, 'Miracle at Medinah' heroes Luke Donald and Ian Poulter were competing in Boston, while another wild card hopeful, Lee Westwood, failed to qualify for the second FedEx Cup play-off event.
"There will be some very difficult decisions to be made," McGinley said.
"I have been on Tour now for 21 years, I know everyone.
"I've spoken about the bonding I felt with players I have played with, they would walk in the door and we have a sixth sense.
"You can imagine how difficult it's going to be for me if I have to call one of them up and say 'I'm sorry, you're not one of my picks,' I am maybe going with a rookie I don't have any bonding with.
"That's going to be very difficult for me but I am prepared for that. Olly (2012 captain Jose Maria Olazabal) made a wonderful point when people were talking about is he going to pick a player because you like or don't like them, and he said this is the Ryder Cup. I'm here to win the Ryder Cup.
"Personal things go out of the window and that's what it will be for me. I am prepared for the tough decisions, I am not afraid to make those."