McIlroy wins BMW for second PGA Tour victory in row
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Rory McIlroy beat this season’s strongest leaderboard Sunday in the BMW Championship and joined some elite company.
McIlroy made back-to-back birdies around the turn to emerge from a four-way tie and seize control at Crooked Stick in Carmel, Ind. He closed with a 5-under-par 67, making his only bogey on the final hole when it no longer mattered, for a two-shot victory over Phil Mickelson and Lee Westwood.
Everyone knew Boy Wonder was a special player when he won the US Open last summer with a record score. The last several weeks have established him as the dominant player in golf, with three wins in four tournaments loaded with the best players — the PGA Championship and two FedEx Cup playoff events.
McIlroy became the first player since Tiger Woods in 2009 to win in consecutive weeks on the PGA Tour, and with his sixth career win, he joined Woods and Jack Nicklaus as the only players to win at least six times at age 23.
‘‘I didn’t think everything would happen so quickly, but I'm on a good run at the minute and I want to keep it going as long as I can,’’ McIlroy said.
Mickelson and Westwood tried to chase him down on the back nine, only to make mistakes when they couldn’t afford any.
Mickelson (70), tied for the lead going into the final round, was one shot behind when his approach flew the green on No. 12 and he had to scramble for bogey. Mickelson made back-to-back birdies late in the round to get within two shots of the lead, but he badly missed a 3-foot par putt on the 17th to fall three shots behind.
Woods was never seriously in the mix. Five shots behind with seven holes to play, he made three late birdies and shot 68 to tie for fourth with Robert Garrigus (69).
McIlroy is the No. 1 seed going into the FedEx Cup finale in two weeks at East Lake, but any of the top five seeds can win the Tour Championship and capture the FedEx Cup with its $10 million bonus. The other four seeds are Woods, Nick Watney, Mickelson, and Brandt Snedeker.
The 70-man field was whittled to 30 for the Tour Championship.
LPGA — Paula Creamer (71) and Jiyai Shin (69) will have to wait until Monday to break their deadlock in the Kingsmill Championship in Williamsburg, Va.
After they each parred the par-4 18th hole eight times in a playoff, darkness forced the suspension of play. They will resume play Monday morning on the par-4 16th hole.
European — Peter Hanson holed a 35-foot eagle putt on the 18th green for a 67 to win the KLM Open in Hilversum, Netherlands, by two strokes over Pablo Larrazabal (70) and Richie Ramsay (67).