September 9, 2007
CHICAGO (AFP) - Tiger Woods fired a flawless eight-under-par 63 here Sunday to claim a two-shot victory at the seven million-dollar BMW Championship.
Woods, who started the day one shot off the lead, had eight birdies in ideal scoring conditions at Cog Hill, which had been softened by recent rain.
He broke away with four birdies in five holes on the back nine, matching the course record and finishing with a 22-under total of 262.
The world No. 1 claimed his sixth US PGA Tour victory of the year, and the 60th of his career - just two less than legend Arnold Palmer.
Woods also moved back to the top of the standings in the new FedEx Cup playoff series, which concludes with the Tour Championship next week.
The man leading the standings after next week's concluding Tour Championship will earn a 10 million-dollar bonus.
Australian Aaron Baddeley, who led Woods by one stroke with seven holes to play, fired a 66 and finished second on 20-under 264.
American Steve Stricker was two shots further back after a closing 68.
England's Justin Rose, who played the final round with Woods, had a decent day, carding a 68, but he was never in the hunt after starting five shots back, finishing tied for fifth.
Still, Rose is the only British player to advance to the 30-man Tour Championship, with Luke Donald and Ian Poulter eliminated, Donald by the smallest of margins.
He finished 31st on the points list, one spot behind Irishman Padraig Harrington. Harrington, the British Open champion, took the week off but still held on to the final qualifying spot.
Woods, meanwhile, picked up four birdies on the front nine, but could not break clear of Stricker and Baddeley, all three making the turn locked at 18-under.
It seemed for a long time that nobody on the leaderboard could miss from inside 15 feet, as all three leaders reeled off a hat-trick of birdies at the seventh, eighth and ninth.
Woods fell one behind when Baddeley birdied the par-five 11th, then the world No. 1 asserted himself.
He sank a 50-foot monster at the par-three 12th, and also birdied the 13th, 15th and16th.
The big loser was Phil Mickelson, who took the week off, dropping from first to third on the points list, behind Woods and Stricker, setting the scene for a great battle for the 10 million-dollar bonus.