Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy seem to be spending a lot of time together lately. That includes the top of a busy leader board at the BMW Championship in Carmel, Ind.
The biggest star in golf and his heir apparent put on a dazzling show Thursday. McIlroy, flawless with his irons, birdied his last two holes for an 8-under 64 and was part of a tie for the lead with Indiana native Bo Van Pelt, U.S. Open champion Webb Simpson and Graham DeLaet.
Just three days after McIlroy won the Deutsche Bank Championship, he looked just as impressive at Crooked Stick, site of John Daly's improbable win at the 1991 PGA Championship.
"He hits it great, putts it great and top of that, he's just a really nice kid," Woods said of McIlroy. "The game of golf is in great hands with him, and he's here to stay."
Woods, who finished two shots behind Monday in Boston, isn't going away quietly. He was only sharp when it came to scoring, making enough birdies to stay in the game, including a 30-foot chip-in on his last hole for a 65.
McIlroy had every reason to be a little flat because of the short turnaround from the Labor Day finish. But that wasn't the case at the BMW, not with fans lined three-deep down the entire 10th hole to see him and Woods in the same group.
"It definitely gives you a little more of a lift," McIlroy said. "You're focused from the get-go, and you want to go out and shoot a good number."
Because of heavy rains earlier
Sixty players in the 70-man field were at par or better. The average score was 69.47.
Phil Mickelson was at 69, worth noting because it looked as though he might quadruple bogey his last hole. Instead, he made birdie.
His second shot from the fairway on the par-5 ninth sailed toward the corporate tents, and Mickelson feared it was out-of-bounds. He hit a provisional that went onto the driving range, which definitely was out-of-bounds. Before he could hit again, he discovered the first one was in play. His wedge settled 2 feet away for a birdie.
"I got lucky," he said.
LPGA Tour: Jiyai Shin weathered a two-hour weather delay and shot a 9-under 62 to take the Kingsmill Championship lead in Williamsburg, Va. Dewi Claire Schreefel eagled the par-5 seventh hole (her 16th) to reach 7 under before play was suspended due to darkness with 33 players still on the course. Four players, including Pleasanton native Paula Creamer, were at 6-under 65. Four more, including San Jose's Christina Kim, were at 66.
European Tour: Graeme Storm posted a 7-under 63 to lead the KLM Open at Hilversumsche, Netherlands. Martin Kaymer, Raphael Jacquelin and Fabrizio Zanotti had 65s.