Tiger Woods wins BMW Championship by eight

By Doug FergusonSeptember 14, 2009, 2:21 am

 

BMW Championship 2007 LogoLEMONT, 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.

“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.”

Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods celebrates is sixth PGA Tour title of 2009. (Getty Images)

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 for 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.

Woods won for the first time since his aura was slightly tarnished at the PGA Championship, where he lost a lead in the final round for the first time since he was a 20-year-old rookie. Y.E. Yang rallied from two shots behind to beat him at Hazeltine, ending Woods’ streak of never losing a major with at least a share of the lead.

No way he was about to lose this one – not at Cog Hill, and not the way he was hitting shots and making putts.

The closest anyone got to him was six shots when Woods missed the fifth fairway and failed to convert a 10-foot par putt. He made it look easy, yet still provided a few thrills.

Woods sent his tee shot well to the right into the trees on the par-5 ninth, leaving him a 20-foot wide chute under the trees. He smacked a 3-iron low, straight and under the branches, just a little too far. Blocked by a tree on his third shot, he played a low hook and ran the ball onto the green to 15 feet. He made the birdie.

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  • Event: BMW Championship

Walking off the green, he shrugged his shoulder and smiled. Indeed, everything went his way this week in the Chicago suburbs.

He added an eagle on the par-5 15th when his approach bumped off the collar of the green, caught a ridge and rolled to 6 feet. From there, all that remained was his margin of victory.

Cog Hill became the fourth course where Woods has won at least five times. He has won seven times at Torrey Pines and Firestone, and six times at Bay Hill.

Now comes the hard part.

Woods’ sixth 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 Steve 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. All of them can win the FedEx Cup with a victory at East Lake. Everyone else will need some help.

Lexi 'applaud's USGA, R&A for rules change

By Randall MellDecember 11, 2017, 5:15 pm

Lexi Thompson’s pain may prove to be the rest of golf’s gain.

David Rickman, the R&A’s executive director of governance, acknowledged on Golf Channel’s "Morning Drive" Monday that the new protocols that will eliminate the use of TV viewer call-ins and emails to apply penalties was hastened by the controversy following Thompson’s four-shot penalty at the ANA Inspiration in early April. The new protocols also set up rules officials to monitor TV broadcasts beginning next year.

“Clearly, that case has been something of a focus point for us,” Rickman said.

Thompson reacted to the new protocols in an Instagram post.

“I applaud the USGA and the R&A for their willingness to revise the Rules of Golf to address certain unfortunate situations that have arisen several times in the game of golf,” Thompson wrote. “In my case, I am thankful no one else will have to deal with an outcome such as mine in the future.”

Thompson was penalized two shots for improperly returning her ball to its mark on a green during Saturday’s round after a viewer emailed LPGA officials during Sunday’s broadcast. She was penalized two more shots for signing an incorrect scorecard for her Saturday round. Thompson ultimately lost in a playoff to So Yeon Ryu.

The new protocols will also eliminate the additional two-shot penalty a player receives for failing to include a penalty when a player was unaware of the penalty.

Shortly after the ANA Inspiration, the USGA and R&A led the formation of a video review working group, which included the PGA Tour, LPGA, European Tour, Ladies European Tour and PGA of America.

Also, just three weeks after Thompson was hit with the four-shot penalty, the USGA and R&A released a new Rules of Golf decision decision (34-3/10) limiting video evidence in two ways:

1. If an infraction can’t be seen with the naked eye, there’s no penalty, even if video shows otherwise.

2. If a tournament committee determines that a player does “all that can be reasonably expected to make an accurate estimation or measurement” in determining a line or position to play from or to spot a ball, then there will be no penalty even if video replay later shows that to be wrong.

While the USGA and R&A said the new decision wasn’t based on Thompson’s ANA incident, LPGA players immediately began calling it the “Lexi Rule.”

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PGA Tour, LPGA react to video review rules changes

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 11, 2017, 1:32 pm

The USGA and R&A announced on Monday updates to the Rules of Golf, including no longer accepting call-ins relating to violations. The PGA Tour and LPGA, which were both part of a working group of entities who voted on the changes, issued the following statements:

PGA Tour:

The PGA Tour has worked closely with the USGA and R&A on this issue in recent years, and today's announcement is another positive step to ensure the Rules of Golf align with how the game is presented and viewed globally. The PGA Tour will adopt the new Local Rule beginning January 1, 2018 and evolve our protocols for reviewing video evidence as outlined.

LPGA:

We are encouraged by the willingness of the governing bodies to fully vet the issues and implement real change at a pace much quicker than the sport has seen previously. These new adaptations, coupled with changes announced earlier this year, are true and meaningful advances for the game. The LPGA plans to adopt fully the protocols and new Local Rule as outlined.

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Sharma closes on Monday, wins Joburg Open

By Associated PressDecember 11, 2017, 12:43 pm

JOHANNESBURG – Shubhankar Sharma won his first European Tour title by a shooting 3-under 69 Monday in the final round of the weather-delayed Joburg Open.

The 21-year-old Indian resumed his round on the eighth green after play was halted early Sunday afternoon because of storms. He parred that hole, birdied No. 9 and made par on every hole on the back nine.


Full-field scores from the Joburg Open


Sharma finished at 23-under 264, three strokes ahead of the pack, and qualified for next year's British Open, too.

''I actually wasn't going to come here about a week ago ... so I'm really happy that I came,'' said Sharma, who shot 61 in the second round. ''I don't think I'm ever going forget my first time in South Africa.''

Erik van Rooyen (66) was second, three strokes ahead of Shaun Norris (65) and Tapio Pulkkanen (68).

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Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 11, 2017, 12:30 pm