Vijay Singh takes a one-stroke lead over Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Ryan Moore into the third round of golf’s BMW Championship, the third of four U.S. PGA Tour playoff events.
The 49-year-old Singh had seven birdies and one bogey for a 6-under-par 66 yesterday at Crooked Stick Golf Club in Carmel, Indiana, and is at 13-under 131 for the tournament.
Woods and McIlroy, who were paired for the first two rounds, are at 12 under. Woods finished a bogey-free round of 5- under 67 with birdies on his final two holes.
“Today was a grind,” Woods said in a televised interview. “I didn’t have my swing. I was staying as patient as possible. When you look at the scores, guys were just running off.”
Because of heavy rain this week at the course, players have been permitted to pick up their ball, clean it and replace it on the fairways. The soft conditions allowed 61 of the 70 players to score even par or better through two rounds.
“It’s a lot of pressure,” Woods said. “On a golf course like this, you know that if you shoot something in the high 60s, you’re going to get run over.”
Play began yesterday at 8 a.m. local time, almost three hours earlier than planned, to avoid the threat of thunderstorms in the afternoon.
McIlroy, who won the second of the four U.S. PGA Tour playoff events on Sept. 3, was less consistent. Along with five birdies, he had an eagle and four bogeys for a 4-under 68.
Moore, whose only PGA Tour win came at the 2009 Wyndham Championship, matched Singh’s round with seven birdies and a bogey.
England’s Lee Westwood and American Bo Van Pelt are tied at 11 under, three shots ahead of Phil Mickelson.
McIlroy’s win at the Deutsche Bank Championship five days ago came three weeks after he captured the PGA Championship, his second major title. The latest victory for the 23-year-old from Northern Ireland was his fifth on the PGA Tour and third this year on the world’s richest golf circuit.
“I’ve always felt that confidence was a big part of my game,” McIlroy said in a televised interview. “I play well when I’m confident and I don’t play well when I’m not. This probably is the most confident I’ve been in a long time.”
Following a one-week break after the BMW Championship, the top 30 players on the points list will contend for the FedExCup title and the champion’s $10 million bonus at the Tour Championship at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta.
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