BMW Championship 2012: Tiger Woods Will Spoil Rory McIlroy's Back-to-Back Bid
Rory McIlroy has been the shining light of this past month, but many golfers matched him stride for stride in the opening round.
One man lurking two strokes behind has the best chance to slay the Irishman: Tiger Woods.
Yes, that same Tiger Woods who avoids weekend leaderboards like the plague.
Not U.S. Open Champion Webb Simpson—he's already had enough breaks this year to win a major.
Canadian Graham DeLaet? Sounds like the annual weekend flameout.
Woods, the No. 3 golfer in the world, went toe-to-toe with McIlroy during the championship's first round, trading blows with golf's hottest player like a prizefighter.
McIlroy hit a birdie on the 10th hole, then Woods followed suit. On their final hole, with McIlroy holding a lead, Woods had to raise his game and hit a birdie to close the distance. He chipped it in from more than 40 feet.
Talk about a closing statement.
If the opening pairing was any indication, playing alongside McIlroy will fuel Woods to keep pace. Perhaps Woods enjoys being in the same group as his closest equal.
In addition, according to ESPN Stats and Information, Woods has had a scoring average of 67.3 while being paired with McIlroy. That's a full stroke ahead of Rory's average.
Who Ya Got To Win the BMW Championship?
With a round of 65 like Thursday's, passing McIlroy and others to take the BMW title isn't so far-fetched. This BMW Championship course at Crooked Stick may be the elixir for Woods' second-half woes as well.
The course forgave and forgot all during the tournament's first day; half of the field shot 69 or better, with many threatening to hit double-digits under par by Friday's end. That type of grass plays to Woods' advantage.
Plus, with reports of heavy rain to hit Crooked Stick late Friday, a weekend full of fast fairways benefits long hitters such as Woods. He will be able to take chances in his approach and have a few more chances at eagles than his less powerful opponents.
A little rain never hurt anybody, right Tiger?
It may have been McIlroy's three weeks up to this point, but this will be Tiger's weekend. Luckily, he has the 23-year-old ahead to keep pushing him.
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