One of my best – triumphant Woods

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Tiger Woods cruised to a comprehensive eight-shot victory in the BMW Championship in one of his ‘best years’.

Tiger Woods cruised to a comfortable eight-shot victory in the BMW Championship in Illinois on Sunday to move to the top of top of the FedEx Cup standings in what he sees as one of his ‘best years’.

The American’s victory at Cog Hill was the 71st of his illustrious career and came as no surprise after his sublime course-record 62 in Saturday’s third round.

Coming into the day with a near unassailable seven-shot lead, Woods won by eight strokes going away and it has helped convince him, as he heads into the FedEx Cup finale at the Tour Championship in two weeks’ time, that 2009 has been one of his finest years – despite the fact that he was unable to add any majors to the 12 he has already won in his chase of Jack Nicklaus’ record 18.

“Absolutely, it’s one of my best years,” said Woods, after easily holding off seasoned American Jim Furyk and Aussie upstart Marc Leishman at Cog Hill Golf and Country Club on Sunday.

“There’s no doubt about that.

“I haven’t won as many times as I did in 2000, didn’t win any majors this year, but I’ve never had a year where I’ve been this consistent, either, with as many high finishes from the number of events I’ve played.

“To have an opportunity just about every time I tee it up to win the championship on the back nine – that’s something, about which can’t tell you, of just how proud I am.”

Woods’ win came courtesy of a round of 68 which enabled him to finish at 19-under-par overall as against the 11-under of second-placed Furyk and Leishman.

Furyk’s five-under round of 66 saw him make a late charge up the leaderboard though there was never any real chance of him overhauling Woods.

Leishman was two under on 69 on Sunday with two birdies and no bogeys.

Padraig Harrington had been in and around the top of the leaderboard all weekend but finished tied for sixth on six under with fellow European Sergio Garcia, of Spain, after a difficult round of 73. Garcia closed with a level-par 71.

England’s Luke Donald was among four tied for 10th place after a 73 while countryman Ian Poulter shared 20th after a poor 75.

But to get back to the man in the spotlight; Woods has hitherto judged his success by the major championships he has won, but this year, after recovering from reconstructive knee surgery, the 33-year-old American is using a different marker.

“There were so many uncertainties at the beginning of the season,” said Woods. “I didn’t know how the leg was going to respond.

“I can’t remember the last time I had a leg that was stable, that didn’t hurt when I played.

“There were so many different things that I didn’t know for and I hadn’t played competitively since the (U.S.) Open (in 2008).

“A lot of guys had played well and I hadn’t played at all.

“So there was a lot of uncertainty.

“To come back and be …this consistent feels pretty good.”

After an eighth-month lay-off to allow his left knee to recover from surgery, Woods made his returned to the PGA Tour in March at the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship where he finished in a tie for 17th.

Since then he has only twice finished out of the top 10 in his 15 starts.

In just six events since missing the cut at the British Open in August, he has won three tournaments and finished second twice.

This year already he has won nearly $10 million and is a good bet to win another ten or even eleven-odd more at the Tour Championship.

“It (Tour Championship) is very important because it’s the top 30 hottest players of the year playing the season-ending event. This is the hottest field you’ll probably have all year.

“If you would have asked me at the beginning of the year, any of you guys probably wouldn’t have predicted I would have had the year like I have.

“To have the opportunity to win just about every tournament I have been in…to come off knee surgery and have this type of year and be this consistent is something I’m very proud of.”

ALL THE FINAL ROUND SCORES
(USA unless stated, par 71):

265 Tiger Woods 68 67 62 68
273 Jim Furyk 70 70 67 66, Marc Leishman (Aus) 67 69 68 69
274 Sean O’Hair 70 68 70 66
276 Zach Johnson 73 65 70 68
278 Sergio Garcia (Spa) 71 68 68 71, Padraig Harrington (Irl) 68 68 69 73
279 Kevin Na 72 72 65 70, Camilo Villegas (Col) 68 74 71 66
280 Bill Haas 71 68 71 70, Matt Kuchar 71 68 66 75, Luke Donald (Eng) 70 69 68 73, Brandt Snedeker 69 69 66 76, Mark Wilson 69 66 71 74
281 Bo Van Pelt 67 69 72 73, Bubba Watson 69 68 70 74, Stephen Ames (Can) 76 67 69 69
282 Rory Sabbatini (Rsa) 66 70 72 74, Steve Marino 66 77 68 71
283 John Senden (Aus) 70 70 66 77, Mike Weir (Can) 72 69 71 71, Ian Poulter (Eng) 69 71 68 75
284 Anthony Kim 69 69 72 74, Chad Campbell 70 70 72 72, Retief Goosen (Rsa) 72 72 71 69, David Toms 68 71 69 76, Kevin Sutherland 75 67 67 75, Stewart Cink 72 74 70 68
285 Robert Allenby (Aus) 75 74 67 69
286 Nick Watney 70 71 73 72, Jason Dufner 74 70 69 73, Charles Howell III 69 72 70 75, Dustin Johnson 69 73 71 73, Phil Mickelson 71 69 70 76, Fredrik Jacobson (Swe) 72 71 70 73, Tim Clark (Rsa) 78 69 73 66, Ryan Moore 71 72 75 68
287 Hunter Mahan 73 73 69 72, Charlie Wi (Kor) 71 73 72 71, John Rollins 73 65 74 75, Ernie Els (Rsa) 75 67 77 68, Heath Slocum 70 69 72 76, John Mallinger 68 76 69 74, Scott Verplank 70 75 72 70
288 Brian Davis (Eng) 71 70 72 75, Kenny Perry 77 69 70 72, Ben Crane 75 69 76 68, Angel Cabrera (Arg) 73 75 69 71
289 Jerry Kelly 76 73 69 71, Pat Perez 72 71 73 73, Justin Leonard 73 69 75 72, Davis Love III 74 77 67 71
290 Steve Stricker 72 73 68 77, Nathan Green (Aus) 73 74 73 70
291 Brian Gay 73 71 75 72, Woody Austin 76 72 72 71, Bryce Molder 70 73 71 77, Geoff Ogilvy (Aus) 68 73 75 75
292 Jason Bohn 71 74 74 73, Jason Day (Aus) 71 73 75 73
293 Charley Hoffman 73 71 72 77, Jeff Overton 72 68 75 78, Jonathan Byrd 69 79 73 72, Webb Simpson 70 74 73 76
297 Y.E. Yang (Kor) 71 78 73 75
299 Lucas Glover 74 75 71 79
300 Paul Goydos 74 72 73 81
304 J.B. Holmes 78 73 72 81

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