TIger Tied for 11th After Round 3 of the BMW Championship
NEWTON SQUARE, Pa. – Getting the start he wanted, Tiger Woods riled up his big gallery by pouring in birdies on his first two holes Saturday to climb into a share of third place at the BMW Championship at Aronimink Golf Club.
Like the weather, he cooled off.
Woods followed with 11 consecutive pars, narrowly missing several great birdies chances, and recorded a bogey-free 4-under-par 66 in the third leg of the FedExCup playoffs. He has a 54-hole score of 12-under 198 and heads to Sunday’s final round tied for 11th, five strokes behind leader Justin Rose at 193.
Woods could have been closer. He hit 16 greens in regulation and missed five birdie putts from 12 feet or closer. Caddie Joe LaCava reminded him to stay calm.
“It was frustrating because I hit the ball well enough to shoot a low score,” Woods said. “And Joey was tripping in my ear to stay patient out there because I was getting a little hot.”
Tee times were delayed 3½-hours due to more than two inches of rain on Friday night and Saturday morning. Players were grouped in threesomes and went off split tees, Woods starting on the first hole with Ryan Armour and Ted Potter Jr.
Woods and Armour have a long history. In the 1993 U.S. Junior Amateur Championship, Tiger defeated him in the final round to capture his third consecutive title.
Woods has played his best on Saturday this year, sharing the PGA Tour lead in third round scoring average at 68.36. The heavy rain created soft conditions on the fairways and greens, made even more favorable by the lift, clean and place rule.
As a result, players were aggressive and there was an abundance of birdies.
After struggling on the greens Friday, finishing with 33 putts, Woods got off to a flying start by holing birdie efforts of just under 13 feet at No. 1 and just over 11 feet at No. 2. He gave himself another nice opportunity at No. 3, but missed a 15-footer.
Woods closed the front nine with six-straight pars, but two stung. At the 240-yard par-3 eighth, he lofted a gorgeous long iron 12 feet left of the pin and just missed. At the par-5 ninth, he came up just short of the green in two, pitched 11 feet past the hole and lipped out, the ball curling around the entire cup.
Undaunted, Woods flagged his approach shot at the par-4 10th within eight feet of the pin and couldn’t convert. After adding three pars, he finally broke through with his third birdie by dropping a nine-foot birdie at the par-3 14th.
Woods hit an errant drive into the right rough at the par-4 15th and couldn’t reach the green with his second shot. He nestled a nice pitch five feet from the hole and made the par-saving putt.
At the par-5 16th, Woods blasted a big drive and flushed a high fade with his 3-wood that landed on the green and trickled off the back. He hit a deft chip four feet and drained the birdie putt.
Tee times were moved up again for Sunday’s final round due to the threat of rain and wind. Woods starts at 8:10 a.m. ET with Webb Simpson and Scott Piercy. Golf Channel will carry live coverage beginning at 8 a.m. ET.
“I’m going to have to shoot one of those 61s or 62s just to have a chance,” said Woods. “The golf course is soft. Everyone is making birdies. You can be aggressive. I got to take a run at it, whether it’s tomorrow on Monday.”
When the event concludes, the top 30 players in the playoff points standings advance to the Tour Championship, Sept. 20-23 at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta. Woods currently stands 25th.