Golf: The BMW Championship turned into golf’s version of an All-Star game Saturday with Phil Mickelson making 10 birdies to share the lead with Vijay Singh, and a host of other proven players lined up behind them Saturday at Crooked Stick in Carmel, Ind.
Mickelson shrugged when asked about all the stars on the leaderboard, only because he figured his name wasn’t at the top and there was still work to be done. That was before Singh had his only three-putt of the tournament from about 45 feet on the last hole that made him settle for a 69.
They were at 16-under 200 going into a final round loaded with possibilities.
Rory McIlroy, going for his second straight FedEx Cup playoff win and his PGA Tour-leading fourth of the year, birdied the 18th to salvage an ordinary day with a 69. He was one shot behind with Lee Westwood, a former world No. 1 who made all five of his birdies on the back nine for a 68.
Dustin Johnson, who has finished no worse than fourth in the other two playoff events, had a 67 and was in the group two shots behind that included Adam Scott and Robert Garrigus, who is trying to play his way into the FedEx Cup finale at East Lake in two weeks.
Not to be forgotten is Tiger Woods, who turned his sloppy play around by chipping in from 25 feet on the ninth hole that began a run of four birdies in a five-hole stretch. He had to settle for a 71, ending his streak of six straight rounds in the 60s.
Woods was only three shots behind.
Westwood is playing these FedEx Cup playoffs for the first time, and already he found out what he was missing. Put some of the world’s best players together, and it’s not unusual to see them all at a high level.
“The cream has risen to the top, hasn’t it?” Westwood said.
This follows the Deutsche Bank Championship in which McIlroy held off Louis Oosthuizen, Woods, Mickelson and Johnson. The opening week at The Barclays featured Nick Watney beating Ryder Cup pick Brandt Snedeker, Johnson and Sergio Garcia.
• Creamer looking to end drought: Paula Creamer moved into position to end a two-year victory drought, shooting a 6-under 65 to take a two-stroke lead into the final round of the Kingsmill Championship in Williamsburg, Va.
The nine-time LPGA Tour winner chipped in for birdie on the par-4 13th in her bogey-free round on Kingsmill’s River Course. She had a 16-under 197 total, the lowest 54-hole score in the history of the event.
“I haven’t won in two years. That feels like forever, but it also feels like yesterday when I did just win, so it’s kind of a give or take,” Creamer said. “I’ve been in contention a lot, so it’s not that I’m not used to this, that’s for sure.
Wendy Ward of Edwall, Wash., carded a third-round 71 to leave her at 4-under 209. She is in a three-way tie for 31st.
Second-round leader Jiyai Shin was second after a 69.
Shin is winless since 2010.
Dewi Claire Schreefel and Danielle Kang were 12 under. Schreefel had a 69, and Kang shot 70.
Second-ranked Staci Lewis was 11 under along with Ai Miyazato and Azahara Munoz. Lewis shot a 68, Miyazato had a 67, and Munoz a 69.
Pistorius finishes with gold in 400
Paralympics: Oscar Pistorius completed his groundbreaking dual-games trip to London by finally winning an individual gold, defending his Paralympic 400 meters title in the last competition in the Olympic Stadium.
The original “Blade Runner” lost his 100 and 200 Paralympic titles this week, but eased to victory in his preferred 400 event in 46.68 seconds, more than 3 seconds ahead of Blake Leeper of the United States.
“It was very, very special for me – it was the last event of my season, it was the last event of the London 2012 Games,” said Pistorius, who anchored South Africa’s 400 relay team to victory Wednesday. “It was my 11th time I was able to come out on the track and I just wanted to end and give the crowd something they would appreciate and take home with them. I was very nervous before today’s race. I was quite tired.”
Favored Air Support wins by a head
Horse racing: Air Support, the 7-5 favorite, nipped Bombaguia by a head in the $196,000 Bowling Green Stakes on the turf at Belmont Park in New York.
John Velazquez was aboard for his second win in the first three races on the opening day card. Air Support, a 4-year-old trained by Shug McGaughey, got up in the final strides for his first win since last season’s Virginia Derby. He ran the 1 1/4 miles in 2:06.12 over the good course for his fifth win in 15 starts.
Air Support paid $4.90, $2.90 and $2.10. Bombaguia, the pacesetter making his stakes debut, returned $6.20 and $3. Brilliant Speed paid $2.60 to show.
Hawks pull even with Canadians in series
NWL baseball: Willson Contreras singled with the bases loaded and nobody out in the bottom of the ninth inning to drive in Jeimer Candelario and lift the Boise Hawks to a 3-2 victory over the Vancouver Canadians in the Northwest League final series in Boise.
The win knots the series at 1-1 with the final game today in Boise.
Vancouver scored in the top of the eighth inning to take a 2-1 lead, but Boise tied it up in the bottom of the eighth on Stephen Bruno’s two-out run-scoring double.
Ward wins by knockout in 10th
Boxing: Andre Ward knocked out Chad Dawson with his third knockdown punch of the night in the 10th round to defend his WBC-WBA super middleweight titles and delight his hometown crowd in Oakland, Calif.
Ward (26-0, 14 KOs) knocked down Dawson (31-2, 17 KOs) late in the third round and early in the fourth to take control of the fight and finished him off with a combination at 2:45 of the 10th.
Contador on verge of victory in Vuelta
Cycling: Alberto Contador kept the overall leader’s red jersey and is closing in on his second Spanish Vuelta title after Denis Menchov won the punishing 20th stage in Madrid.
Alejandro Valverde and Joaquin Rodriguez, Contador’s closest pursuers in the general classification, finished ahead of the Spanish leader but the difference wasn’t enough to close the gap.
Contador finished 4 minutes, 15 seconds behind Menchov to run his overall time to 82:14:52, which was 1:16 quicker than Valverde and 1:37 ahead of Rodriguez before today’s last stage, a largely processional 71-mile ride into Madrid.