CARMEL, Ind. – Fresh off two consecutive wins in the FedExCup Playoffs, Rory McIlroy plans to travel to New York on Monday. Although he enjoys watching tennis – you know who his girlfriend is, right? – he probably won’t attend the men’s U.S. Open final.
“Probably just watch on TV,” he said.
McGregor suggested that McIlroy join some of the training sessions.
“We're doing a bit of track work next week,” McIlroy said, then joked, “I think their stride is probably a little longer than mine, but it should be good fun.”
Just for the record, McIlroy is 5-foot-10.
Even though he’s riding a wave of momentum after two straight wins – the first player since Tiger Woods in 2009 to win PGA TOUR events in consecutive weeks – McIlroy is ready for a little downtime before going to the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola, where he’ll compete with 29 other players for the FedExCup title.
“I’m really looking forward to next week because of that (working with the Knicks), “ McIlroy said, “just to completely get away from golf for a few days and hang out with those guys.”
By Fred Albers, PGATOUR.COM Correspondent
Rory McIlroy is playing so beautifully right now; you could name any number of reasons why he won again this week. I look at his driving. McIlroy averaged 306 yards per drive -- and keep in mind that is largely carry yardage on damp fairways that provided little roll. He missed one fairway in the final round. The length and accuracy manifested itself on the par-5 15th hole, which he played in 5 under for the week with three birdies and an eagle.
Off the deck: Both Phil Mickelson and Vijay Singh took an aggressive approach with their second shots at the 595-yard 11th hole. They both took driver off the deck in an effort to reach the par 5 in two. From 310 yards, Mickelson was wide to the right while Singh was short and in the bunker. Both players wound up with par and while you admire the aggressive play, you also wonder if both would have been better served hitting layups rather than drivers for their second shots.
Rough: There was no problem growing grass at Crooked Stick this week. The fairways were lush and so was the rough. In fact, this week featured some of the thicker rough we have seen the entire season. The rain seemed to give the grass a growth spurt. The rough was not only long, it was “juicy,” filled with moisture and escape was just about impossible. Shots that finished just off the green buried in the grass. Officials had to mark their location with flags so players could locate the ball.
Club Choice: Vijay Singh has won 34 PGA TOUR events thanks to a high fade. He pounds his driver through the air and consistently works the ball from left to right. So, it was a curious play when Singh set up to hit a draw at the 14th. The ball never moved inside the rough line and wound up in the water hazard where Singh went on to make bogey. Vijay routinely hits draws and cuts with his irons but seldom hits anything but a fade off the tee. It was all part of a bad final nine holes that has Singh outside the Top 30 and missing the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola.
Par 5s: It was another solid week of golf for Tiger Woods but also another week without a victory. He can look back at his performance on par 5s with regret. Woods did not birdie any in his final round, hitting poor drives on all of them. Tiger had birdied nine of 12 par fives through 54 holes, which made Sunday’s shutout all the more frustrating.
Grand finale: What a finish we are in for at East Lake and the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola. There are so many quality players who have their games peaking at just the right time. Rory McIlroy, Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Lee Westwood. This year’s edition of the FedExCup Playoffs has been tremendous and the final event should be great stuff.
Fred Albers is a course reporter for SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio. For more information on SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio, click here .
By Mike McAllister, PGATOUR.COM
CARMEL, Ind. -- Sunday’s final round of the BMW Championship, the third event in the FedExCup Playoffs, is in the books. Forty players have been eliminated and the top 30 in FedExCup points will now move on to the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola in two weeks to battle for the FedExCup.
Here’s a look at the key FedExCup developments from Crooked Stick.
NO. 1 WATCH: Rory McIlroy entered the week No. 1 in points and then won the BMW Championship by two strokes. So pretty simple – he stays No. 1.
TOP FIVE WATCH: The key development on Sunday was that Phil Mickelson moved into the top five and Louis Oosthuizen was booted out. Mickelson, who finished in a tie for second with Lee Westwood, moved to fourth in the FedExCup standings. He follows McIlroy, Tiger Woods and Nick Watney, who are 1-2-3 on the list. Brandt Snedeker, who started the week No. 4 in points, dropped to No. 5 after a tie for 37th. Oosthuizen, who had started the week in fifth after two top-five finishes in the first two Playoffs events, dropped to sixth after a tie for 16th.
Thus, McIlroy, Woods, Watney, Mickelson and Snedeker are the five players who control their own fate at East Lake after the points are reset. If any of those five players wins the TOUR Championship, he will automatically claim the FedExCup title. Everybody else must have varying degrees of help to win the title.
MOVING IN/MOVING OUT: Only the top 30 in FedExCup points advance to the finale of the FedExCup Playoffs in two weeks. Here’s a look at the players outside the top 30 who moved inside the top 30 and will go to East Lake and the players who were bumped out and were eliminated from the Playoffs:
|Moving in||Movement||Moving out||Movement|
|Robert Garrigus||31 to 20||Kyle Stanley||30 to 31|
|Ryan Moore||35 to 28||Bill Haas||28 to 32|
ELIMINATED FROM THE PLAYOFFS: Forty players were officially eliminated from the FedExCup Playoffs following the BMW Championship. Here is a list of those 40 players and their final FedExCup standing.
|31. Kyle Stanley||41. Ben Curtis||51. Brian Harman||61. Charl Schwartzel|
|32. Bill Haas||42. Graeme McDowell||52. Kevin Na||62. Jimmy Walker|
|33. Vijay Singh||43. Padraig Harrington||53. Graham DeLaet||63. D.A. Points|
|34. Kevin Stadler||44. Jeff Overton||54. Pat Perez||64. Martin Laird|
|35. Greg Chalmers||45. Troy Matteson||55. Ryan Palmer||65. Bryce Molder|
|36. Johnson Wagner||46. Marc Leishman||56. Tim Clark||66. Ben Crane|
|37. Seung-Yul Noh||47. Geoff Ogilvy||57. Brendon de Jonge||67. Matt Every|
|38. Bud Cauley||48. J.B. Holmes||58. Bob Estes||68. David Hearn|
|39. Ian Poulter||49. Chris Kirk||59. Mark Wilson||69. Charley Hoffman|
|40. Tom Gillis||50. William McGirt||60. Charlie Wi||70. Dicky Pride|
BIGGEST MOVERS: Here are the players who made the biggest moves at Crooked Stick.
|Player||Final result||FEC position entering BMW||FEC position after BMW||Movement|
ODDS & ENDS: Ryan Moore (64th) started the Playoffs ranked lower than anyone who qualified for the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola. This is the first year under the current format that no one outside the top 65 made it to East Lake. Check out the complete list. …
No one who moved off the Barclays or Deutsche Bank bubble qualified for the TOUR Championship. …
John Huh is the lone rookie to qualify for the TOUR Championship. He's the fifth in six years to accomplish this feat, joining Keegan Bradley (2011), Marc Leishman (2009), Andres Romero (2008) and Brandt Snedeker (2007) as rookies to make it to East Lake. …
There are seven players making their first trip to East Lake: Rory McIlroy (1), Louis Oosthuizen (6), Lee Westwood (8), Robert Garrigus (20), John Huh (26), Rickie Fowler (27), Scott Piercy (30).
From Elias Sports Bureau
> Rory McIlroy won the BMW Championship the week after winning the Deutsche Bank Championship. McIlroy is the first player on the PGA TOUR to win in back-to-back weeks since Tiger Woods won the Buick Open and the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational in 2009. The only other player to win back-to-back weeks on the PGA TOUR in the last five years was Vijay Singh at The Barclays and the Deutsche Bank Championship in 2008.
> Phil Mickelson led the field with 28 birdies at the BMW Championship. In the last six years on the PGA TOUR, Mickelson has only had one other event in which he made 28 or more par breakers; 2011 Shell Houston Open (28). Unfortunately for Phil, he also made 10 bogeys. The last time Mickelson has 28 or more par breakers and 10 or more holes over par was at the 2003 Bob Hope Chrysler Classic.
> Bubba Watson posted the lowest final round score of the day at the BMW Championship with a 7-under 65. That ties the lowest final-round score of Watson’s career on the PGA TOUR relative to par. Watson was 7 under in the final round of the 2009 Travelers Championship.
> Hunter Mahan finished last at the BMW Championship with a final score of 300 (12 over). It is the worst total score of Mahan’s career on the PGA TOUR in a four-round event. Mahan’s score was six shots higher than his previous high score in a four-round PGA TOUR event (294). The good news for Mahan is that despite that score, he did advance to the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola.
In the final round of the BMW Championship, Tiger Woods hits his 215-yard second shot to 13 feet on the par-4 14th and makes the birdie putt.
By Mike McAllister, PGATOUR.COM
CARMEL, Ind. -- As he looks back on it, Tiger Woods knows where he lost the BMW Championship.
It came in the opening eight holes of Saturday's third round, when he suffered four bogeys and started out 3 over. As it turns out, those three shots were the difference between his score of 17 under and Rory McIlroy's winning score of 20 under.
"That little stretch sometimes takes you out of a tournament, especially in a shootout like this," Woods said. "Going 3 over through eight yesterday, that's not very good out here -- especially when most of the guys were 3 under through eight out here."
In Sunday's final round, Woods shot a 68, playing his last 11 holes in a bogey-free 4 under. But with a slow start, he could never climb into serious contention or put significant pressure on the leaders.
The fact the he could only par each of the par-5 holes on Sunday -- he was 9 under on those holes through the first three rounds – made his chase much more difficult.
"As I said yesterday, it was going to take about a 63 or 64 today to give myself a chance, and that was the number," Woods said. "... It could be done because the greens were so soft. If you take care of the par 5s, throw in a couple more, all of a sudden you have your number."
Woods does have a number that will be significant when he tees off with McIlroy in the first round of the TOUR Championship by Cola-Cola. The number is 2 -- Woods' FedExCup ranking going into East Lake.
Since he's inside the top five in points, Woods will control his own destiny. Should he win the TOUR Championship, he'll also be guaranteed his third FedExCup title.
He knows McIlroy is at the top of his game right now and No. 1 in points, but as Woods pointed out Sunday, "We've got one more tournament."
In the final round of the BMW Championship, Phil Mickelson sinks a 13-foot birdie putt on the par-5 9th hole.
CARMEL, Ind. -- Phil Mickelson said he was a "little bit off" during Sunday's final round of the BMW Championship. Consequently, he failed to maintain the lead he shared with Vijay Singh after 54 holes and came up two strokes short of eventual winner Rory McIlroy.
But Mickelson did accomplish a major objective -- getting into the top five in FedExCup points. Thanks to his tie for second at Crooked Stick, he moved from ninth to fourth in points.
That gives Mickelson control of his own destiny at the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola. If he wins at East Lake, he will win the FedExCup title.
And he likes his chances.
"I'm really pleased with the way my game has come around the last two weeks," Mickelson said after shooting a 2-under 70 to finish at 18 under. "... I really know where I'm headed with my swing, with my ball-striking off the tee, iron play, distance control, wedge, putting -- all that stuff feels really good.
"I look at a day like this as just a blip as opposed to a trend. The trend is going up."
Mickelson had the lead to himself early in his round after birdies at the second and fifth holes. But he bogeyed the par-4 seventh despite being in the fairway just 145 yards from the pin after a perfect drive. His approach ended up in the rough between the bunker and the green, and he couldn't get up and down to save par.
"The shot on 7 was just horrific," Mickelson said. "It was an easy pitching wedge back there and it was -- I was just a little bit off. I was kind of holding onto some shots rather than releasing it, and consequently I blocked a number of iron shots."
Mickelson had a birdie at the par-5 ninth, but then he failed to birdie the par- 11th and bogeyed the par-4 12th after another short approach shot sailed over the green.
Two late birdies gave him an outside shot at catching McIlroy, but he bogeyed the par-3 17th when he missed the green with his tee shot, then missed his par putt from 3 feet.
"Everything was just a fraction off," Mickelson said. "My irons weren't quite at the pin. They were off a little bit. My putter was 2, 3 inches off my line, just a fraction, just enough to miss.
"I just wasn't getting in the hole like it was yesterday, so I was fighting it a little bit."
Still, a tie for second after last week's fourth-place finish at the Deutsche Bank Championship has Mickelson excited for East Lake, a course he's won on twice before.
"The parts of my game are getting better, each one," Mickelson said, "so hopefully at East Lake I'll improve the last spot or two and see if I can get the win."
Rory McIlroy won his second consecutive FedExCup Playoffs event, claiming the BMW Championship by two shots.
McIlroy’s four-day total of 20 under came on a Crooked Stick course that suffered nearly three inches of rain and forced officials to institute lift, clean and place rules for all four rounds.
It’s the second win in less than a week for McIlroy, who on Labor Day Monday claimed the Deutsche Bank Championship. It’s also the third win in McIlroy’s last four starts, as he won the PGA Championship last month. He now has four wins on the season.
“I’m just on a great run at the moment,” said the 23-year-old McIlroy, who now has six PGA TOUR wins. “I’m playing well, I’m confident – just hope to keep it going.”
The world No. 1 will now go to the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola as the top player in FedExCup points but is not guaranteed the FedExCup title. The other four players in the top five after the BMW Championship are Tiger Woods (2), Nick Watney (3), Phil Mickelson (4) and Brandt Snedeker (5). Each of those players controls his own destiny – if any of those five players wins the TOUR Championship, he will be guaranteed the FedExCup title.
Points are reset after the BMW Championship to give every player in the 30-man field at East Lake a mathematical chance to win the FedExCup.
McIlroy and Woods will be paired together in the first round of the TOUR Championship on Thursday, Sept. 20. It will be the fifth round in these FedExCup Playoffs that McIlroy and Woods will be in the same group.
“He’s putting on a show out there,” Woods said of McIlroy. “We’ve got one more tournament.”
Lee Westwood and Phil Mickelson tied for second at 18 under. Mickelson has started the day sharing the 54-hole lead with Vijay Singh. Westwood shot a 3-under 69 while Mickelson shot a 2-under 70.
“I was just a fraction off today,” Mickelson said, “but I’m really pleased where my game is overall.”
Westwood, making his first appearance in the FedExCup Playoffs, will be eighth in points going into East Lake.
“I’m quite amped up,” Westwood said. “I’m in good position for it, so hopefully come back in two weeks’ time and try and win.”
Tiger Woods and Robert Garrigus tied for fourth at 17 under, with Dustin Johnson and Adam Scott another stroke back.
“It’s great to be able to win events like this where the quality of the field is so good,” said McIlroy, who becomes the fourth player to win two Playoffs events in the same year. Woods did it in 2007, while Singh and Camilo Villegas did it in 2008.
The top 30 players in FedExCup points are now finalized and will advance to East Lake. Just two players from outside the 30 starting the week managed to play their way in during their four rounds at Crooked Stick – Garrigus (who started 31st) and Ryan Moore (who started 35th).
Garrigus birdied four straight holes on his back nine to secure his spot.
“It’s gratifying all the work has paid off,” Garrigus said. “I’m going to Atlanta and I’m very excited.”
Added Moore: “There’s a huge sigh of relief right now just to be done and to have earned my way back in.”
Defending FedExCup champion Bill Haas and Kyle Stanley were the two players who dropped out of the top 30.
Vijay Singh was in position to also play his way in after starting the day sharing the 54-hole lead with Phil Mickelson. But Singh – who had started the week 49th in points -- faded down the stretch with three bogeys in his last five holes and dropped outside the top 30 to 35th after shooting a 1-over 73.
Rory McIlroy won for the fourth time this season on the PGA TOUR and for the third time in his last four starts with a two-shot victory Sunday at the BMW Championship. McIlroy will be the top seed going into the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola in two weeks. In the meantime, send your note of congratulations here and we’ll pass it along.