BMW Championship 2012: Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy Will Add Chapter to Rivalry

Mike ShiekmanFeatured ColumnistSeptember 8, 2012

CARMEL, IN - SEPTEMBER 07:  Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland (L) shakes hands with Tiger Woods on the 18th green during the second round of the BMW Championship at Crooked Stick Golf Club on September 7, 2012 in Carmel, Indiana.  (Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)
Warren Little/Getty Images

Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy can pretend they don’t have a rivalry.

Yet at the 2012 BMW Championship, the two can’t escape each other on the leaderboard.

The No. 1 and No. 3 golfers in the world are deadlocked in second place at 12-under par. The two golf heavyweights have been exchanging birdies like quick jabs.

Rory got the best of Tiger on Day 1, but Woods caught up with his adversary after a 67 in Round 2

Even with these spectacular scorecards, both golfers haven’t been playing their best golf stats-wise. Woods is currently T-58 in fairways hit, while McIlroy’s greens-in-regulation stands in the middle of the pack.

Yet these two have managed to stick around the top five. That's exactly why they’ll be on television screens late Sunday.

After rain soaked up Crooked Stick for a good four hours Saturday morning, the course looks ripe for big hitters Woods and McIlroy to take advantage.

Long drives will lead to a bunch of birdie opportunities—which both players have been able to convert thus far.

Those chances won’t be going away anytime soon.

This weekend caps a memorable stretch for McIlory, who won the PGA Championship and Deustche Bank title all in a span of a month.

Woods hasn’t been too shabby in that stretch, finishing in third last weekend behind McIlroy and Luis Oosthuizen.

If the two get paired together in a final-round scenario, the stats down the stretch would seem to favor Eldrick Woods, surprisingly.

According to ESPN Stats and Information, Woods has had a scoring average of 67.3, a full stroke ahead of McIlroy, when in the same group.

Between Rory and Tiger, whoever can withstand the war of attrition will be taking home the BMW title. Hole by hole, jab by jab, one of golf's greats will come out with a sweet $10 million.