LEMONT, Ill. (AP) Playing next to Tiger Woods for two days was daunting enough. It was when Steve Stricker watched him from 200 yards away on an elevated tee that he realized how tough it would be to beat him Sunday in the BMW Championship.
He arrived on the par-3 12th tee in time to see Woods, in his customary black pants and red shirt, rap a putt that traveled from one side of the green to the other until the ball disappeared after a 50-foot journey and gave Woods an unlikely birdie.
"It looked like he looked back to make sure that we were watching him make birdie," Stricker said.
Not so, Woods replied.
Woods only cared about making birdies, and he got enough of them at Cog Hill to close with an 8-under 63 for a two-shot victory over Aaron Baddeley. Along the way, Woods shattered the tournament scoring record, collected his 60th career victory on the PGA Tour and moved atop the standings in the FedEx Cup with one week remaining.
"If you wanted to win this tournament, you had to make putts," Woods said. "And I just happened to make them today."
The 63 matched Woods' lowest final round to win, and he finished at 22-under 262 to break by five shots the 72-hole record at Cog Hill first set by Scott Hoch in 2001 and matched by Woods two years later.
And while his 60th tour victory surprised him, the amazement wore off when he was reminded that it was only 13 months ago at the Buick Open that everyone made a fuss out of Woods winning No. 50.
Baddeley gave him a good chase until he ran out of birdies on the back nine and settled for a 66. Stricker was tied for the lead until his 3-iron clipped a tree and came up well short on the 12th, leading to a bogey no one could afford. He wound up with a 68 to finish alone in third, enough for him to move up to No. 2 in the FedEx Cup standings.
"There isn't a lot you can do," Stricker said. "I would have had to shoot 63 today to beat him. When you see him ahead of us making the birdies and hearing the roars, you know that he's on a roll and not making many mistakes. It's tough."
It also might be tough to catch him in the FedEx Cup, which concludes next week at the Tour Championship.
Woods goes to East Lake in Atlanta with a 3,133-point lead over Stricker and a 4,120-point margin over Phil Mickelson, who decided not to play this week.
Mickelson, the Deutsche Bank Championship winner Monday, will have to win to have any hopes of capturing the FedEx Cup and the $10 million prize. If Stricker does not win at East Lake, Woods could win the cup by finishing second.