Tiger Finishes Tied for 6th at the BMW Championship
NEWTON SQUARE, Pa. – Another goal realized for Tiger Woods.
No, he didn’t post his 80th PGA Tour victory on Monday in the rain-extended BMW Championship at grey and soggy Aronimink Golf Club. But his final-round 5-under-par 65 clinched a berth in the Tour Championship for the first time since 2013.
Woods tied for sixth at 17-under 263, three shots behind Keegan Bradley and Justin Rose. Bradley won the third of four FedExCup playoff events with a par on the first extra hole to earn one of 30 places at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta, Sept. 20-23.
It was the sixth top-10 showing in 17 PGA Tour starts for the 42-year-old Woods. Last week, he was named to the U.S. Ryder Cup team.
“That was a pretty big task at the beginning of the year and to be able to accomplish that is something I’m very proud of,” said Woods, who has overcome four back surgeries.
Since shooting 78 in the first round of the U.S. Open, 16 of his last 29 scores have been in the 60s.
Woods concluded the regular season No. 20 in FedExCup point standings and is nowNo. 21 in the Official World Golf Ranking.
By finishing in the top-30 in FedEx Cup points, Woods secured a spot in the U.S. Open next June, where he won one of his three titles by a record-smashing 15 strokes in 2000.
“Yep. I won’t have to ask for that one,” Woods said of a special exemption from the USGA.
He has a lifetime exemption to the Masters and can play at the Open Championship until at least age 60.
Woods also qualified for the WGC-Mexico Championship.
He trailed Rose by five shots entering the last round at Aronimink. Woods charged up the board and pulled within one shot of the lead by blazing a 4-under 31 on the front nine. Paired with Webb Simpson and Scott Piercy, he birdied the first, fifth, sixth and ninth holes, chipping in from just short of the green at the par-4 sixth.
Woods lost momentum in the light rain after sustaining his first bogey at the par-4 10th, where a poor drive and chip did him in. He rebounded quickly with a short birdie at the par-4 11th, nearly slam-dunking his approach shot.
With seemingly everyone going low in the soft, receptive conditions, Woods made a great par-save at 12, then pulled within one again with a birdie at 13. His comeback derailed following a bogey at the par-3 14th, where he found a greenside bunker.
Woods registered his seventh birdie at the par-5 16th and gave himself good looks at 15 and 17, missing from nine and 13 feet, respectively. He parred the last two holes.
“To have a chance to win again this year, it’s a very positive feeling,” Woods said. “Had I made a few more putts this week it could have been a different deal coming down the stretch.”
No golf was played Sunday due to heavy rain. Asked how he spent his time, Woods said, “I lifted twice and I got some treatment and watched a ton of football.”
He was surprised the final round Monday was played and expressed thanks and appreciation to the club staff, superintendent and his crew.
“They did a great job,” said Woods.
Overall, he has been pleased and surprised by his performance in 2018.
“Lots of hard work and patience,” he said. “My body has changed drastically since I first started. Trying to get used to the equipment and changing equipment because my swing is changing.”
At the recent Northern Trust, Woods inserted an old shaft in his driver, as he did previously with his 3 and 5-woods, and the club has become a weapon. He hit 13 fairways Monday.
“Finally got it dialed in,” said Woods.
Now he’ll look to contend in Atlanta.
“I played a few tournaments where I was close at the end,” said Woods. “At the end of the season to say I made it back to the Tour Championship after what I’ve been through is a pretty good accomplishment.”