Tiger Woods wins BMW Open

Updated: 13 September 2007 06:32 IST

Tiger Woods matched the lowest final round of his career with an 8-under 63 on Sunday, giving him a two-shot victory in the BMW Championship.

Tiger Woods wins BMW Open

Illinois:

Tiger Woods matched the lowest final round of his career with an 8-under 63 on Sunday, giving him a two-shot victory in the BMW Championship and the lead heading into the final event of the US PGA Tour's "playoffs."

Woods took the lead for good with a 12-foot birdie on the 13th hole and kept his distance from Aaron Baddeley and Steve Stricker. He finished at 22-under 262, breaking by five shots the record he set four years ago at Cog Hill Golf & Country Club.

It also gave him a commanding lead with one week remaining in the FedEx Cup.

Woods goes to East Lake Golf Course in Atlanta with a 3,133-point lead over Steve Stricker, who finished third on Sunday, and a 4,120-point margin over Phil Mickelson, who decided not to play this week.

Mickelson, who won the Deutsche Bank Championship last week, will have to win to have any hopes of capturing the FedEx Cup and the $10 million prize. If Stricker does not win at East Lake, Woods could win the cup by finishing second.

Only two other players - Rory Sabbatini and KJ Choi - have a mathematical chance of winning the FedEx Cup.

It was Woods' fourth victory at Cog Hill, sixth victory of the year, and the 60th in his 11 years on the US tour. He earned $1.26 million to exceed $9 million in prize money in a season for the fourth time in his career.

Baddeley closed with a 66, while Stricker bogeyed his final hole for a 68 to finish four shots behind.

The US tour now moves to Atlanta, where there are problems at East Lake.

The tour left a two-page notice on players' lockers Sunday morning saying that record heat has severely damaged the greens, forcing officials to cancel the pro-am round Wednesday and ban players from so much as setting foot on the greens until the first round on Thursday.

Players are still required to be at East Lake on Wednesday to do a clinic and spend time with the amateurs.

Stewart Cink, Tim Clark and Camilo Villegas all finished in the top 10 and earned enough points to move into the top 30 in the playoff standings and qualify for the Tour Championship.

The 30th spot went to British Open champion Padraig Harrington, who took this week off to recharge and was prepared to play a European tour event if he got bumped out. Luke Donald tried to recover from a 76 in the opening round, but his bogey-free 65 on Sunday left him two shots away from the points he needed to finish 30th.

Also getting knocked out of the top 30 were Jerry Kelly and Aaron Oberholser, who withdrew with hand and wrist injuries and said he would not have been able to play the Tour Championship even if he had made it.

Sunday's title was a three-man show until Wood seized control with a 50-foot birdie on the 12th, and a 20-foot birdie on the 16th that swirled around the cup before falling.

Woods took only 25 putts in the final round, five fewer than a third round in which he was disappointed with a 65.

"That's what has been missing all week," Woods said. "Today, I finally felt comfortable."

With his wife, Elin, following along outside the ropes, Woods ran off three straight birdies at the turn to shoot 32, but all that did was help him keep pace with Stricker and Baddeley.

Stricker, the hometown favorite, made four straight birdies through the 10th hole to become the first to reach 19 under, giving him a one-shot lead over Baddeley.

Baddeley caught him on the 11th with a long bunker shot over a crook in the green to 6 feet for birdie.

But Woods surged with his 50-foot putt, putting him in a three-way tie for the lead. He birdied the 13th, grazed the edge of the cup on the next hole, and nearly holed another 20-foot putt for eagle on the 15th.

Woods also shot 63 in the final round of the Deutsche Bank Championship last year. And while he is known as the best closer in golf, it was his fourth victory this year when starting the final round from behind.

Baddeley didn't give himself enough close chances, although he had a chance to tie Woods with a 20-foot eagle on the 15th that just missed. He failed to give himself a serious look at birdie the rest of the way, and the result was inevitable as Baddeley and Stricker brought up the rear.

Topics : Golf
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