Woods gains FedEx Cup edge with BMW win
BY Bruce Young | US PGA Tour | 2007 BMW Championship | Round Four | 10 Sep 2007
Tiger Woods today further enhanced his already amazing record at the Cog Hill Golf and Country Club in Chicago when he won the BMW Championship by two shots over Aaron Baddeley. It was Woods’ fourth win and added to two further runner up placings at this course.
“I’ve always liked playing here since my amateur days,” said Woods soon after securing his win. “It seems to fit my eye. Today my putting was good but I have been hitting the ball well all week. I just saw the lines today.”
The victory was Woods’ 60th on the PGA Tour and he has taken the lead once again in the FedEx Cup series, creating a situation where he can be mathematically beaten by only four players – Steve Stricker, Phil Mickelson, Rory Sabbatini and K.J. Choi – in the race for the US$10,000,000 payout at the end of next week’s Tour Championship.
Rory Sabbatini and K.J. Choi would need a win to claim the title and Woods would need to finish outside the top 13 for Sabbatini to have a chance and outside the top 21 for Choi. Clearly that is highly unlikely.
Mickelson and Stricker however still have a realistic chance of taking this inaugural series down to the wire. If Stricker wins next week in Atlanta, Woods can’t catch him and if Mickelson wins then Woods needs to finish runner up to stay ahead.
Woods was typically clinical today when he needed to be, playing mistake free golf both in terms of his shotmaking and his management. Eight birdies and no bogeys swept him past the overnight leaders, Baddeley and Stricker.
At the turn Woods trailed Stricker by one, sharing second place with Baddeley at that point. Baddeley joined Stricker’s lead when he birdied the 10th but then came the much awaited Woods onslaught. Four birdies between the 12th and 16th holes had Woods two clear of Baddeley at 22 under and try as they may, there was little that the chasers could do.
Woods therefore wins his 6th tournament of the year and takes his season earnings to US$9.6 million. A win next week in Atlanta would give him his highest earnings in any one season on the USPGA Tour surpassing his previous best of US$10,628,000 set in 2005. His PGA Tour career earnings now stand at an amazing US$75,319,000.
Baddeley continued the significant elevation in his world status with a great challenge to Woods magic. Baddeley has clearly lifted his game with the services of Pete Benda on the bag in the last three years adding an old head to young shoulders.
Baddeley earned US$756,000 for his week and is now US$1.8 million ahead of his previous best season last year. There might be a lot more in store for him next week as even a 5th place finish in the FedEx Cup series which is where he presently stands, is guaranteed US$1 million in addition to the prizemoney he will earn in Atlanta. If he was to win the Tour Championship he would not only earn the US$1.26 million but he could likely finish runner up in the FedEx Cup series earning another US$3 million in bonus earnings.
Stricker has been simply stunning in season 2007. He has now moved to number three on the 2007 money list and given the manner in which he is playing, a challenge to Tiger’s grip on the FedEx Cup Series next week in Atlanta is not beyond the realms of possibility.
Adam Scott showed he was on target to perhaps defend his Tour Championship title when he produced a brilliant last round of 65 to finish alone in fourth while Tim Clark and Justin Rose finished in a share of 5th.
Nathan Green was the next best of the Australians finishing 14th after a final round of even par lost him some ground. Stuart Appleby was 25th, Rod Pampling and Robert Allenby were 28th, John Senden 52nd and Geoff Ogilvy and Nick O’Hern 61st.
Only four Australians now remain in the FedEx Cup series. Aaron Baddeley, Adam Scott, Geoff Ogilvy and, perhaps surprisingly, Robert Allenby, will advance to next week’s Tour Championship while for the others they can take a rest.
Allenby and his caddy, Matt (Bussy) Tritton, had a dispute in round two of the tournament with Tritton finally having enough at their 7th hole in round two. Tritton walked off leaving Allenby to use the services of his personal trainer to finish the round. Allenby has had similar situations previously.
Tritton previously worked for Peter Lonard and things were looking good earlier in the season when Allenby had his best start to a season on the PGA Tour with six top tens in his first eight starts. Things have not been so good since however and clearly the tension had been building between the pair prior to Friday’s bust up.
The PGA Tour now heads to Atlanta for the Tour Championship at the East Lake Golf Club.