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.