No drama as Tiger dominates
LEMONT, ILL. Tiger Woods left the drama to everyone else at Cog Hill.
One day after his course-record 62 gave him a seven-shot lead, Woods made sure no one else had a chance Sunday in the BMW Championship. He closed with a 3-under 68 for an eight-shot victory over Jim Furyk and Marc Leishman.
It was his sixth victory of the year, and assured Woods the No. 1 ranking going into the final tournament of the FedEx Cup and its $10 million prize. Woods won for the fifth time at Cog Hill, and it was his 10th career victory by at least eight shots. He passed Edgerton native Steve Stricker in the standings.
“It felt like we had a tournament within a tournament,” Furyk said. “Tiger was seven ahead. He was kind of running away. It was kind of a tournament for second place.”
That other tournament wound up being quite a show.
As Woods cruised around Cog Hill in his familiar red shirt, a dozen players behind him were scrambling for positions into the FedEx Cup finale at East Lake in two weeks.
Furyk’s runner-up finish moved him up 15 spots to No. 3, meaning he can win the FedEx Cup with a victory at the Tour Championship. Leishman, who only qualified for Cog Hill by making an eagle on his last hole a week ago outside Boston, earned his first trip to the Tour Championship and will have an outside shot at the $10 million.
Most compelling, however, was the battle for the 30th and final spot.
The heartbreaker belonged to Brandt Snedeker, playing in the final group with Woods. Walking up the 18th hole, he learned he only needed a bogey to finish in the top 30. He missed his 12-foot par putt, then watched in shock as his 3-footer for bogey caught the left lip of the cup. Snedeker was so stunned that he missed the next two putts and took triple bogey.
“I can’t believe I did this,” Snedeker said. “I just made a mess of it.”
That allowed John Senden to capture the 30th spot by less than a half-point over Ian Poulter, two players who were hardly clutch down the stretch. Senden had a 90-yard wedge to the green at the 15th and chunked it so badly that it traveled only 50 yards. Two holes later, he nearly hit a bunker shot over the green and into the water to make double bogey.
Senden finished with 1,532.41 points. Poulter, who hit his approach into the water on the 18th, wound up with 1,531.95 points.
Far easier to compute was Woods winning.
He finished at 19-under 265 for his 71st career victory, leaving two short of Jack Nicklaus for second on the PGA Tour’s career list. Woods also tied Sam Snead with his sixth season of at least six victories.
Now comes the hard part.
Woods’ victory likely sewed up another PGA Tour player of the year award—no one else has won more than three times this year. And while he has a 1,504-point lead over Stricker, the points are reset for the Tour Championship.
As the No. 1 seed, Woods will have 2,500 points, with Stricker at 2,250. The rest of the top five are Furyk, Zach Johnson and Heath Slocum.