Rory McIlroy beat the strongest leader board in golf this year Sunday in the BMW Championship and joined some elite company.
He made back-to-back birdies around the turn to seize control at Crooked Stick (Ind.). He closed with a 5-under 67, making his only bogey on the final hole when it no longer mattered, for a two-shot win over Phil Mickelson (70) and Lee Westwood (69).
McIlroy is now the dominant player with three wins in four tournaments loaded with the best players -- the PGA Championship and two FedEx Cup playoff events.
He became the first player since Tiger Woods in 2009 to win in consecutive weeks on the PGA Tour, and he joined Woods and Jack Nicklaus as the only players to win at least six times at age 23.
"I didn't think everything would happen so quickly, but I'm on a good run, and I want to keep it going," McIlroy said.
McIlroy finished at 20-under 268 and earned $1.44 million, pushing him to over $7.8 million for the season to effectively lock up the money title. He has four wins on tour in 2012, one more than Woods.
"A lot of people stayed neutral, and Rory geared ahead," Mickelson said.
McIlroy is the No. 1 seed going into the FedEx Cup finale in two weeks at East Lake (Ga.), but any of the top five seeds can win the 30-player Tour Championship and take the FedEx Cup with its $10 million bonus. The other seeds are Woods, Nick Watney, Mickelson and Brandt Snedeker.
"Rory is putting on a
LPGA Tour: Pleasanton native Paula Creamer and Jiyai Shin will have to wait a day to break their deadlock at the Kingsmill Championship.
After they each parred the par-4 18th hole eight times in a playoff, they returned to the 18th tee to try to play another hole but decided it was too dark.
"When I teed it up back there, it was a no go," Creamer said.
They will resume play Monday on the par-4 16th.
Creamer took a one-shot lead into the final hole of regulation but three-putted -- missing a 5-footer for par -- at 18. She had an even-par 71, and Shin a 69, leaving them both at 16-under 268 at Kingsmill (Va.).
The longest playoff in tour history is 10 holes.
Karine Icher (65) and Danielle Kang (69) shared third at 270.
European Tour: Peter Hanson eagled the final hole to win the KLM Open. He made a 35-foot putt for a 3-under 67 and a 14-under 266 on the Hilversumsche (Netherlands) course. Pablo Larrazabal (70) and Richie Ramsay (67) shared second at 268.
Hanson's young son, Tim, was hospitalized Friday in Orlando, Fla., with respiratory problems. "With my son in hospital, it puts golf into perspective," he said.