Shane Lowry missed out on a maiden Tour Championship appearance by the narrowest of margins while Patrick Cantlay secured back-to-back BMW Championships with a one-shot win over Scott Stallings in an action-packed final round.
As always with the FedEx Cup playoffs there are storylines all over the leaderboard and while Cantlay was trying to hold off the challenges of Stallings, Scottie Scheffler and Xander Schauffele, Lowry was left to rue a costly three-putt bogey on 17.
The Clara native finished on eight-under-par and in a share of 12th place but crucially one place outside the cut off for East Lake in 31st.
While Aaron Wise gave him late hope with a double-bogey, bogey run on 15 and 16 he held his nerve with two pars to take that coveted 30th place.
Lowry’s hopes weren’t done yet though, with Adam Scott making hard work of securing his passage to the Tour Championship, but the Aussie clawed his way into 29th with a superb display of short game none more so than his clutch bunker shot to gimme range on 18 to end Lowry’s hopes.
Still, it has been another good year for Lowry who now has top-5 finishes in all four major championships but was unable to break his three-year winless streak.
“I feel like there’s a lot of things that didn’t go my way this season,” lamented Lowry who shot a final round 69. “I had a few chance to win tournaments that I didn’t get over the line, but all in all, it’s been a pretty good year without a win.
“Yeah, all in all, I suppose I still have to look at positives from today and this season. I think it’s been a pretty good year for me.
“I played great golf today. It’s the best I’ve played in a while.”
Three closing birdies will send Rory McIlroy to East Lake with a pep in his step as he bids to become the first player to win a hat trick of FedEx Cup titles.
A final round of 69 helped McIlroy into a share of 8th place on nine-under, five shy of Cantlay after a week that had plenty of positives but far too many mistakes.
The 2016 and 2019 FedEx Cup winner struggled on the greens but a return to some familiar putting surfaces which he loves can help avoid his season from petering out after his Open Championship disappointment.
In contrast, Seamus Power’s season ended with somewhat of a whimper. He never seemed to really get going after the third round of the Irish Open despite reaching the BMW Championship for the first time in his career and he was never really in contention to progress to East Lake, with weekend rounds of 77 and 75 seeing him finish on seven-over.
But the day was all about Cantlay, Paddy Ice. And he proved every bit of his nickname as he kept his cool to claim his first win since last year’s BMW Championship.
A birdie on the 17th saw the world number four edge one ahead of Stallings who passed up two good chances on 17 and 18.
Cantlay made hard work of it and was blessed to find the middle of the penultimate fairway after a ridiculously fortunate bounce out of the right rough.
He took full advantage of his break and nipped a wedge to 4-feet for birdie.
After finding the right fairway bunker off the tee on the 72nd he played a superb recovery shot into the heart of the green and lipped out from long range which left a tap-in par for the win.
The win means Cantlay will head to East Lake in second in the FedEx Cup standings, behind Scottie Scheffler.