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Page last updated at 22:50 GMT, Sunday, 13 September 2009 23:50 UK

Woods cruises to Illinois success

-19 T Woods (US) -11 J Furyk (US), M Leishman (Aus) -10 S O'Hair (US) -8 Z Johnson (US) Selected others: -6 P Harrington (Ire), S Garcia (Spa) -4 L Donald (Eng) -1 I Poulter (Eng)

Tiger Woods
Woods was never troubled during his final round at Cog Hill

Tiger Woods claimed his 71st PGA Tour title with an emphatic eight-shot win at the BMW Championship in Illinois.

The world number one had a seven-shot lead going into the final day after a third-round 62, and never looked like losing his advantage.

After birdies at the 7th and 9th holes, an eagle at the 15th kept him well ahead of the field.

Jim Furyk, the 2005 champion, and Australian rookie Marc Leishman finished joint second on 11 under.

The win gives Woods the number one spot in the US PGA Tour's FedEx Cup rankings going into the season-ending Tour Championship.

"It's one of my best years," said Woods. "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, this many high finishes and 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 that I can't tell you how proud I am."

Woods, who earlier this year returned from knee reconstruction after eight months out, added: "There were so many uncertainties at the beginning of the season.

"I didn't know how the leg was going to respond."

Woods returned to the PGA Tour in March at the World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship finishing and tied for 17th.

But in his following 15 starts he has finished out of the top 10 only twice.

In six events since failing to make the cut at the Open in August, he has won three tournaments and finished second twice.

The final event in the Fed Ex Cup play-off series, limited to the top 30 in the list of points accumulated throughout the season, carries a first prize of $10m (£6m).

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

Furyk's runner-up finish moved him up 15 spots to third, meaning he can win the FedEx Cup with a victory at the Tour Championship.

"It felt like we had a tournament within a tournament," Furyk said. "Tiger was seven ahead. He was kind of running away. It was kind of a tournament for second place."

Leishman, who only qualified for Cog Hill by making an eagle on his last hole a week ago outside Boston, earned his first trip to the Tour Championship and will have an outside shot at the first prize.

But Brandt Snedeker missed out after a triple bogey at the 18th where a bogey would have given him a top-30 place, allowing John Senden to edge out Ian Poulter by less than a half-point.

Padraig Harrington, who qualified in sixth, and Luke Donald (28th) are the only Europeans to have qualified.

The Tour Championship takes place at East Lake, Atlanta, from 24-27 September.

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see also
Super Woods shoots course record
12 Sep 09 |  Golf
Woods shares the lead at Cog Hill
12 Sep 09 |  Golf
Duo tied in BMW Championship lead
10 Sep 09 |  Golf
Stricker claims dramatic victory
07 Sep 09 |  Golf
Slocum bags one-shot Barclays win
30 Aug 09 |  Golf
Golf on the BBC
01 Jul 11 |  Golf

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