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Five things we learned from the BMW Championship

Jonathan Wall
Devil Ball Golf

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Rory McIlroy / Getty Images

Let's be honest, we're all incredibly busy. Nobody has time to sit down and watch four rounds of golf coverage -- unless, of course, you watch TV for a living, and if that's the case, please email us your number. So in an effort to condense the tournament coverage for you into a few quick hits, here are five things we learned from the BMW Championship.

Rory McIlroy is playing on an entirely different level — With all due respect to the other 29 players in the FedExCup, there's really only one guy who deserves the $10 million and that's Rory McIlroy. Now, that doesn't mean we're going to see him on Sunday at the Tour Championship hoisting a shiny trophy over his head, but through three events, there's no question he's been the best golfer in the playoffs by a landslide. If you're trying to pinpoint the reason why he's playing on a different level than his peers, look no further than his putts per round average. He averaged just under 26 putts at the Deutsche Bank and 27 at BMW Championship, both good enough for top 10 in the field. No matter how far you hit the ball, having a hot putter will always be the difference between a runner-up finish and taking home the winner's check.

Vijay Singh nearly wins one for the old guys — Singh is still a year away from playing on the Champions Tour, but after the way he played this season, he may want to wait a couple more years before taking up full-time membership with the rest of the old dudes. Even though he barely missed out on the Tour Championship, his eighth-place finish proved he still has what it takes to go head-to-head with the best players in the world. Singh held the 54-hole lead at the BMW and if it wasn't for a rough four-hole stretch on the back nine, we could be talking about him being a winner at the age of 49. We've all heard the saying "Age is just a number." Well, Singh is proving that adage true. He may not grind on the range like he used to, but when you have his work ethic, you're going to find yourself in contention more often than not.

Phil Mickelson find his confidence, form at the BMW — Call it a slump or a bump in the road. Honestly, it doesn't matter what you call Phil Mickelson's stretch over the summer, there's really only one word to describe it: Awful. Starting with the Memorial in June and running through the Barclay in August, Mickelson never recorded a top 10 in seven PGA Tour starts, and even went eight consecutive rounds without breaking par. It was bad. Really, really bad. But after struggling all summer, it appears as if Mickelson found the confidence and swagger that was missing from his game. A couple top-5 finishes -- including a T-2 at the BMW -- normally wouldn't be anything to write home about; however, considering how poorly he was playing, it's almost as big as a win -- especially with the Ryder Cup right around the corner.

Tiger Woods continues to struggle on the par 5s — Plenty of people will look back on Woods' week at the BMW and chalk up his inability to win to missed putts. Well, if you honestly believe it was the flatstick, take a look at these stats: Woods was T-8 in putts per round (27), 22nd in stroke gained - putting, and T-15 in putts per GIR. Sure, he could've made a couple more, but the putter wasn't the issue. The big issue? Try his lack of success on the par 5s, an area of his game that used to be one of his strong suits. Woods only managed to birdie two of the eight par 5s on Saturday and Sunday, and as most know, that won't get it done at most tournaments.

Lee Westwood posts another nice finish — Like Phil Mickelson, Westwood hit a bit of a rough patch over the summer. He finished T-45 at the Open Championship and missed the cut at the PGA -- his best finish coming at the U.S. Open where he finished T-10. Westwood struggled to find some semblance of consistency when his caddie, Billy Foster, was forced to miss the rest of the season due to a setback with knee surgery. After firing temporary caddie Mike Waite and coach Pete Cowan, Westwood is finally playing like the golfer we used to know. He looks confident, and after posting top 5s in two of his last three starts (T-2 at the BMW), looks all systems go for the Tour Championship and Ryder Cup.

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