CROMWELL, Conn. — Armed with his third putter of the tournament, Rory McIlroy had nowhere to go but up in the final round of the Travelers Championship.

A bogey on the final hole aside, the 28-year-old Irishman could fly home Sunday afternoon a bit more optimistic about his game following a 6-under 64. Even though his 6-under total wasn’t a winning score, it was McIlroy’s first four-round tournament since The Players Championship in mid-May.

“I think scoring conditions were a little easier out there today, not as much wind,” he said. “I’ve been hitting the ball pretty well all four days actually. I holed a couple putts, but I still don’t feel like I holed that many. It added up to a good score at the end of the day.”

Third-round leader Jordan Spieth had yet to tee off when McIlroy walked up the 18th hole, where a massive crowd reserved normally for the champion awaited him at TPC River Highlands.


“I’d definitely come back again,” said McIlroy, who was making his first appearance here. “This is one of the best courses on tour. It’s a par 70. It’s fun. You can make a lot of birdies, but if you put yourself in the wrong spot you can make bogeys quickly as well.

“The crowds out there today, I mean I teed off before 9 a.m. on a Sunday morning and it was, they were really good. It was a pleasure to be here this week.”

After making a putter change before the third round, McIlroy went out and shot even par, taking the most strokes on the green all week with 33. He changed putters again prior to the final round, and while he still took 30 putts, he finished with seven birdies and the lone bogey on No. 18.

“We’ll see, I’m not so sure,”…