It was a déjà vu moment for McIlroy but he bounced back solidly with close range birdies at the 16th and 17th before signing for a four under par 66 that left him tied sixth on eight under, securing his place in the Top-5 in the FedEx Cup entering hte Tour Championship and with it a chance of that $10m bonus.
On Friday, the world No 1 took four stabs from four feet at the 204-yard par-three, racking up a triple bogey six in two over 72 that ruined his chances.
Playing his seventh event in nine weeks and his third in a row with another to come at the FexEx Cup finale, the Tour Championship in Atlanta this week, McIlroy may be running on empty.
It didn't show early in his final round when he birdied the fourth and fifth and then produced a shot of genius at the 395-yard seventh, holing a 56-yard pitch from deep rough for an eagle two.
Then disaster struck again at the par-three 12th.
Putting downhill for birdie form 19 feet, he ran his first putt nearly three feet past, shoved his par putt right and lipped out with his bogey effort from three feet again before eventually holing a good four four-footer for a double bogey five.
As for Graeme McDowell, a three under 67 for a share of 36th on one over brought the Portrush man's FedEx Cup run to an end and his next outing before the Ryder Cup comes in a dress rehearsal in ISPS Handa Wales Open at Celtic Manor in a fortnight.
lAmerican David Lipsky won his first European Tour title yesterday after an extraordinary finish to the Omega European Masters in Switzerland.