CARMEL, Indiana (AP) - Phil Mickelson made 10 birdies in his round of 8-under 64 to share the lead Saturday at the BMW Championship when Vijay Singh three-putted his final hole.
Mickelson and Singh, both in the World Golf Hall of Fame, still have to fight off perhaps the strongest leaderboard in golf all year. 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.
''It's the playoffs,'' Johnson said. ''Guys come to play golf. In the big tournaments, it seems like all year the top guys are up there every time.''
And now this - perhaps the strongest leaderboard in golf all year going into the final round, starting with two guys already in the World Golf Hall of Fame.
Singh was the dominant figure throughout the day. The 49-year-old Fijian hasn't won on the PGA Tour in four years, and he was desperate to show that he could put four good rounds together and end that drought.
He made enough birdies to offset a few silly mistakes _ mostly short putts that he missed _ and he held it together until the end. Singh was in trouble on the par-5 15th until he chipped in for birdie from 50 feet.