NORTON, Mass. (AP) — Russell Henley made five birdies in a seven-hole stretch Sunday on his way to a 6-under 65, giving him a one-shot lead in the Deutsche Bank Championship going into a Labor Day finish loaded with possibilities.
And that includes Rory McIlroy.
Coming off a week that was pedestrian by his standards, McIlroy got right back into the mix at the TPC Boston with his power and great iron play for a 64, leaving him just two shots behind on a crowded leaderboard.
“I’ve been in this position quite a lot recently,” McIlroy said. “So I know how it’s going to feel tomorrow.”
It feels a lot like the FedEx Cup playoff opener a week ago at The Barclays, with more than a dozen players having a reasonable chance going into the final round. Ten players were separated by four shots at the Deutsche Bank Championship, and six of them already have won this season.
Henley was at 12-under 201. He will play in the final group with Billy Horschel, who birdied his last three holes for a 67.
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) – Austin Ernst won the LPGA Tour’s Portland Classic with a par on the first hole of a playoff against South Korea’s I.K. Kim.
It was the first professional victory for the 22-year-old Ernst, who shot a 5-under 67 in the final round to get to 14 under at Columbia Edgewater. Kim, the first- and second-round leader, carded a 68.
Kim missed an eight-foot par putt in the playoff that handed the win to the American.
Ernst pulled into contention with a 5-under 31 on the front nine, highlighted by a chip-in eagle at the par-5 fifth. Kim made four birdies and no bogeys.
South Korean’s So Yeon Ryu and Chella Choi tied for third at 12 under. Ryu, last week’s Canadian Women’s Open winner, shot 70, while Choi had a 68.
CALGARY, Alberta (AP) – Fred Couples won the Champions Tour’s Shaw Charity Classic, chipping in for eagle for a course-record 9-under 61 and beating Billy Andrade with a tap-in birdie on the first hole of a playoff.
The 54-year-old Couples also eagled the par-5 11th and had five birdies in his third straight bogey-free round at Canyon Meadows. Andrade closed with a 62, making a short eagle putt on the par-5 18th to match Couples at 15-under 195.
In the playoff on No. 18, Andrade went for the green in two and pulled his approach right of the green and into the grandstand. Couples laid up and hit his third within a foot. After taking a drop, Andrade left his chip 30 feet short and missed his birdie putt.
Couples broke the course record of 62 set by Bill Glasson last year in the inaugural tournament and matched by Tom Pernice Jr. and Bart Bryant in the first round Friday.
Couples also won the Toshiba Classic in March in California and has 11 victories on the 50-and-over tour. The Hall of Famer won 15 times on the PGA Tour.
WEBCOM TOUR FINALS
FORT WAYNE, Ind. (AP) – Bud Cauley won the Hotel Fitness Championship to regain his PGA Tour card, earning $180,000 in the Web.com Tour Finals opener.
Cauley closed with a bogey-free 7-under 65 at Sycamore Hills for a one-stroke victory over Colt Knost. The 24-year-old former Alabama player won his first professional title.
TURIN, Italy (AP) – Hennie Otto of South Africa held on to claim a second Italian Open victory by two shots, while Stephen Gallacher came up just short of an automatic Ryder Cup spot after finishing third.
Otto, who won the event in 2008, shot a 4-under 68 to finish with a 20-under total of 268 and hold off David Howell, who surged up the leaderboard with a 63 to finish second. Howell opened with an eagle and added seven birdies to beat Gallacher (65) by one shot. Gallacher needed a top-two finish to dislodge former U.S. Open Champion Graeme McDowell from the automatic Ryder Cup places for Europe’s team.
EUROPEAN SENIOR TOUR
WOBURN, England (AP) – Colin Montgomerie defended his Travis Perkins Senior Masters title, winning the European Senior Tour event by a tournament-record 10 strokes.
The 51-year-old Montgomerie closed with a 5-under 67 on Woburn’s Duke’s Course to finish at 12-under 204, also a tournament record. The Scot earned $74,030 to push his tour-record season total to $662,985.