Tiger Woods comes up short, as Rory McIlroy wins BMW
Tiger Woods finished fourth at the BMW Championship. Rory McIlroy became the first player since Tiger Woods in 2009 to win in consecutive weeks on the PGA Tour.
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McIlroy finished on 20-under 268 and earned $1.44 million, pushing him to over $7.8 million for the season to effectively lock up the money title and all but assure being voted by his peers as the PGA Tour player of the year.Skip to next paragraph
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He has four wins on tour this year — one more than Woods — and that includes a record eight-shot win at the PGA Championship.
This doesn't rate as highly as winning a major at Kiawah Island, though the All-Star cast that he beat made it satisfying — Mickelson, Singh, Westwood, Woods, Dustin Johnson and Adam Scott all were within range of the lead going into the final day.
McIlroy not only beat them all, he managed to take the drama out of the final hour with a beautiful shot into the par-5 15th that set up a two-putt birdie, followed by a birdie putt from just inside 15 feet on the next hole to build a three-shot lead.
He missed only one fairway in the final round, setting himself up on a rain-softened course to attack the flags. And that's what McIlroy does best.
"He's going out there and is up near the lead and posts a good number," Woods said. "He's doing the things he needs to do, and as he said yesterday, he's feeling very confident about his game. Right now he's just really played well, and he's making a ton of putts. That's a great combo."
The 70-man field was whittled to 30 for the Tour Championship. Singh's late collapse enabled Scott Piercy to grab the final spot, despite a double bogey on the 14th hole and a bogey on the 18th for a 68. A day earlier, Piercy had a two-shot penalty for removing an out-of-bounds stake on the 14th hole.
But he's in the Tour Championship, which puts him in all the majors next year.
Bill Haas suffered another Sunday meltdown at the BMW Championship, and this time it cost him. He was No. 28 in the FedEx Cup and started the final day in reasonable shape. He made seven bogeys and a double bogey and closed with a 78, falling out of the top 30 to miss the Tour Championship.
A year ago, Haas closed with a 78 at Cog Hill to lose an automatic spot on the Presidents Cup team. But he made it to East Lake, won the Tour Championship to capture the FedEx Cup and the $10 million bonus, and was picked for the Presidents Cup team, anyway. There is no second chance this time, adding to the biggest oddity of this series. For the sixth straight year, the reigning FedEx Cup champion will not be at the Tour Championship.
"When nerves are an issue and under the gun, I've got to be better," Haas said. "And right now, I'm far from competitive."
Haas wasn't alone in his heartache.
Kyle Stanley was at No. 30. He had a triple bogey on the par-3 sixth, a bogey on the par-5 11th and closed with a 74 to miss out on East Lake by one shot.
Mickelson set the tone for this wild day when he pushed his opening drive so badly that he started to hit a provisional ball when he realized it clattered off the trees and back into the fairway, just 200 yards off the tee, though he safely managed a par. Then, he holed out from just over 40 feet off the green at No. 2 to take the lead, and kept a slim margin with a nifty up-and-down at the par-5 fifth.
But when he missed the green from the fairway on No. 7 and made bogey, the final round was wide open.
Ahead of him, Johnson chipped in for eagle on the par-5 ninth to create a four-way tie for the lead with Mickelson, McIlroy and Westwood.
Westwood made birdie from the bunker on the ninth, while McIlroy hit a towering shot that landed softly and set up a two-putt birdie that put them ahead at 18 under. Mickelson, playing in the final group, ran a chip out of muddied grass to 12 feet and made birdie to join them.
McIlroy stuffed his approach into 5 feet for birdie on the 10th, and he never trailed again.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.
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