Rory McIlroy recaptured his very best form to claim his first PGA Tour title for 16 months after a stunning display helped claim the Deutsche Bank Championship at TPC Boston. The world number five started round four six shots behind overnight leader Paul Casey but a six-under 65 saw him overhaul the Englishman and finish two clear on 15-under.
McIlroy recovered from being four-over after three holes of his first round to win his first title since the Irish Open in May; a timely victory ahead of the Ryder Cup starting on 30 September.
Casey could have forced a play-off had he holed from 60-feet for eagle on the last but he had no answer to McIlroy's accuracy on the greens which followed a change in putter and coach.
The 27-year-old rises to fourth in the FedEx Cup standings ahead of next week's BMW Championship, the third of four play-off events at the end of the American gold season. He remains in contention to claim the $10m (£7.52m) prize which will be awarded to the winner of the Tour Championship on 22-25 September.
"From three holes in – four over par – there were a lot of things going through my mind, and one of them was not winning this tournament," a jubilant McIlroy told Sky Sports. "So 69 holes later – I played some great golf and holed some great putts. I'm just really proud of myself, how I hung in there on the first day and then got some momentum on Saturday. Then I just went with it. It's nice to get that first win in the States this year and hopefully I can take this momentum into the next couple of weeks and ultimately the Ryder Cup."
Having made significant inroads into Casey's lead, McIlroy appeared to have blown his opportunity to claim the win after dropping a shot on the 17<sup>th after finding the sand. But a birdie on the last pilled the pressure on Casey, whose final round 73 told the story as much of his own shortcomings as it did of the weight of pressure exerted by McIlroy.
Having begun the tournament in disastrous fashion to leave himself four-over through three holes, McIlroy said: "Those last 15 holes on Friday were definitely a turning point, not just in this tournament, but maybe in my season, to play the last 15 holes in four-under.
"It is amazing to think how I started this tournament, and then all of a sudden I'm standing here with a trophy. It is pretty cool. I came here off the back of a rough couple of weeks and I was thinking 'Here we go again,' and that it was going to be a little bit of a grind and a bit of a struggle. But things can turn around quickly in this game and they did for me this week."