Kirk beats out Horschel for Deutsche Bank title
Kirk, who jumped to the top of the FedExCup playoff points list with two events to play, finished the week at 15-under-par 269 at TPC Boston. His last win was at the McGladrey Classic earlier this season.
"Just trying to go play like I did yesterday," said Kirk, who shot a 64 in Sunday's third round. "Obviously I didn't shoot quite as low as I did yesterday, but you know I really felt good with my putter today and just unbelievable. Obviously my biggest win ever."
Horschel, needing a birdie to tie or an eagle to win heading to the par-5 last hole, put his drive in the middle of the fairway, giving him a shot to make the green in two. However, the 27-year-old chunked his second shot, which landed well short and in a hazard. Horschel (69) settled for a bogey and fell into a three-way tie for second.
He was joined there at 13-under 271 by Geoff Ogilvy (65) and third-round leader Russell Henley (70).
This year's Open champion and PGA Championship winner Rory McIlroy, who won this event last year and entered the FedExCup playoffs in the No. 1 spot, shot a 1-under 70 to finish tied for fifth with John Senden (66) at 11-under 273. McIlroy remained No. 2 in the standings.
Jason Day, who entered the day two shots back along with Kirk and McIlroy, carded a final-round 71 and he tied for seventh with this year's U.S. Open champion Martin Kaymer at 10-under 274.
Entering the week with the No. 1 spot in the FedExCup standings after his victory at The Barclays, Hunter Mahan finished in sole possession of 64th at 1-over 285 following a 68 on Monday. He is now No. 3 in the standings behind Kirk and McIlroy.
Playing in the final pairing together, Horschel birdied the first hole to tie Henley atop the leaderboard at 12-under, putting Kirk two shots back at the time. Right after Henley took the outright lead with a birdie on three, Kirk poured in back-to-back gains at three and four to get one shot back at minus-12 with Horschel and Day.
A Horschel birdie on the par-5 seventh tied him with Henley again, while Kirk, Day and Ogilvy, who made his fifth birdie of the day on No. 10, were all one shot back at minus-12.
Horschel broke free of Henley when Henley bogeyed No. 8, but Kirk came through with a birdie on nine to tie Horschel at 13-under with Henley, Ogilvy and Day one shot back.
Day struggled down the stretch with a bogey on 10 and a double-bogey on 12, putting him well off the pace and he never contended again.
Ogilvy got in on the action with another birdie on No. 13 to tie Kirk and Horschel. Another bogey for Henley on 10 was followed by a 33-foot birdie make on 11 to keep him one shot behind.
Kirk took the outright lead for the first time with a 23-foot birdie at No. 13, putting him at minus-14, one shot ahead of Ogilvy and Horschel.
Playing in the penultimate group, Kirk remained calm and made a clutch, 14- foot par putt on 15, keeping his streak of 34 straight holes without a bogey alive, and more importantly keeping him in the lead.
"In that kind of situation it's unbelievable just trying to control the feelings going through your body, trying to factor in how much further you're hitting all your irons just because you're so pumped up," Kirk said about how he felt coming down the stretch in his final round. "I may be a little bit more calm than some other guys in that situation, but I'm still pretty much freaking out inside."
Kirk came through in the clutch again with another gain on 16, putting him two ahead, but Horschel would not go quietly as he made a long birdie putt of his own at No. 16 shortly after to remain one shot back.
From there it was virtually a two-player race between Kirk and Horschel. Kirk survived a tough second shot out of a divot on 17 and he made par. With Horschel also making par on 17, the 18th was his last chance to make a move and catch Kirk.
After watching Kirk settle for par at the last, Horschel had a chance to win with an eagle if he could make it to the green in two on the par-5, 530-yard 18th.
His first shot was right in the middle of the fairway. From 211 yards out, Horschel took his swing on his second shot and immediately reacted in a negative manner as he watched the ball land in a big hazard separating the fairway from the green.
"The worst swing I've made all week," Horschel said about his second shot that found the hazard.
Needing to make his next shot after a drop, Horschel's approach was 11 feet off and he missed the ensuing par putt, dropping him into a tie for second.
McIlroy had an up-and-down day, which started with a gain on four followed by back-to-back bogeys on five and six. He got those shots right back, however, with two straight birdies on seven and eight, getting him two shots back at minus-11.
The No. 1 player in the world did not make a big enough splash on the back nine as he bogeyed 10 and 12 to push him well off the pace. McIlroy finished his round with birdies on 16 and 18 to finish four shots back.
NOTES: Kirk did not make a bogey on his final 37 holes of the week ... Kirk jumped from No. 17 to No. 1 in the standings with the win ... Stewart Cink, Brandt Snedeker, Vijay Singh and Luke Donald were among those who were eliminated from the FedExCup playoffs ... Last year's FedExCup champion and this event's defending champion Henrik Stenson finished tied for 26th at 6- under 278 and he is No. 55 in the standings ... Kirk earned $1,440,000 with this victory ... Next week the PGA Tour heads to Colorado for the BMW Championship, where Zach Johnson won last year.