No Billy, no Chris? Good news for Rory

Major championships are no problem, but this FedEx Cup remains a mystery to Rory McIlroy. For the second time in three years, he was No. 1 in the regular-season standings – and the overwhelming choice to be player of the year, no less – only to come up short in the playoffs.

Insert your own Buffalo Bills joke here.

Sorry, Rors. The Man Out Front is only kidding. Besides, at the end of the Tour Championship, The Forecaddie swears he saw McIlroy’s Irish eyes twinkling. Probably because with the FedEx Cup finale, unlike the Super Bowl, everyone wins.

And just what did McIlroy win, beyond T-2 money ($708,000) and a third-place FedEx Cup bonus ($2 million, not all bad)? How about the opportunity to say good riddance to Billy Horschel and Chris Kirk, which is no small prize.

Consider how that latecharging American duo – Mr. Excitable and Mr. Emotionless, respectively – treated McIlroy so rudely in the postseason. Not only did Horschel and Kirk hurdle McIlroy to finish 1-2 in the FedEx Cup race, but paired in head-to-head weekend matchups, Mr. No. 1 took it on the chin.

At the Deutsche Bank Championship, Kirk outplayed McIlroy on Championship Monday, 66-70, to win and leave the Northern Irishman T-5. At East Lake, Horschel clipped McIlroy by a 68-71 score Sunday to break their 54-hole tie.

No wonder McIlroy had a gleam in his eye, because he knows neither Horschel nor Kirk will be at the upcoming Ryder Cup. “There’s a few guys I’m glad I’m not going to see at Gleneagles: him (Horschel), Ryan Palmer, Chris Kirk,” McIlroy said.

He didn’t add any sort of “thank you” to U.S. captain Tom Watson, but The Forecaddie presumes that McIlroy indeed is grateful. What TMOF also surmised from the post-Tour Championship reaction is that McIlroy cannot wait to get some rest, separate himself from the FedEx Cup grind and get some team camaraderie going. Having gone 4-3-2 in helping Europe win in 2010 and 2012, McIlroy – fresh off his two-major summer – is the unquestioned Euro team leader and reportedly thrilled to be headed for a pairing alongside Sergio Garcia.

First off in the opening morning four-balls Sept. 26? The Forecaddie figures it would be a brilliant way to warm a late September morning in Scotland. As long as Rory can get there on time, mind you.

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