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McIlroy goes back-to-back with BMW victory

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Having again taken up PGA Tour membership in 2012, it seems Rory McIlroy has taken a liking to this FedEx Cup thing.

The Northern Irishman further cemented his standing as the No. 1 player in the game, coming from behind to win the BMW Championship by two strokes on Sunday for his second consecutive playoff victory and third title in his past four starts. He’ll enter the Tour Championship as the No. 1 player in the FedEx Cup race, giving himself the best mathematical chance to take home the $10 million bonus.

Even without the potential windfall, it’s already been the most successful season of McIlroy’s young career.

The win over a star-studded field at Crooked Stick all but clinched the Player of the Year award for the 23-year-old, as he joined Tiger Woods as the only players who have won four or more times on the PGA Tour in the past seven years.

Just how good has McIlroy been in his past two starts? Since the start of the Deutsche Bank Championship, he is a collective 40 under par over his past eight rounds (all of which have been in the 60s).

Said McIlroy, who became just the third player to win at least six times on Tour by age 23, “I’m just on a great run at the minute and trying to keep it going as long as possible.”

McIlroy began the final round of the BMW a stroke behind Vijay Singh and Phil Mickelson, but pieced together a 5-under 67 at rain-soaked Crooked Stick on Sunday to take the drama out of the third playoff event. Back-to-back birdies on Nos. 15 and 16 gave McIlroy a three-shot lead over Lee Westwood and Mickelson. He finished at 20-under 268, after a bogey on the last hole.

Tiger Woods, who failed to birdie any of the four par 5s on Sunday, finished in a tie for fourth, three shots behind McIlroy, after a final-round 68. It’s little consolation, of course, but Woods is projected to move to No. 2 in the world ranking.