Tiger closer, still facing uphill battle after bogey-free Saturday

Tiger closer, still facing uphill battle after bogey-free Saturday

© Provided by Oath Inc. Tiger Woods still has a shot to reach the Tour Championship next week after an impressive Saturday at the BMW Championship. (Andrew Redington/Getty Images)

Tiger Woods isn’t out of the running just yet.

With a pair of disappointing rounds to kick off the BMW Championship — the second of three playoff stops on the PGA Tour — Woods needed to make a big move this weekend at Medinah Country Club near Chicago if he was going to qualify for the Tour Championship next week at East Lake in Atlanta.

After Saturday, the 81-time Tour winner is halfway there.

Woods fired a bogey-free 5-under 67 on Saturday in the third round, jumping more than 15 spots on the leaderboard.

“I felt good,” Woods said after his round, via USA Today. “Basically, the only difference between today and last couple of days I was able to clean up the card. I didn’t have any stupid mistakes where I made bogey from bad spots or from easy spots. I did the little things that was able to keep the momentum going and made a couple putts here and there.

“At least, I’ve got a shot at it.”

The top-30 players in the FedExCup standings after Sunday’s final round will advance to the Tour championship next week. Woods started the week just outside the bubble at No. 38 in the standings, but will need to finish in 11th or better to make the field.

Even after his impressive bogey-free round — which marked his first bogey-free round on Tour since last year’s third round of the BMW Championship — Woods was still projected to drop a few spots in the FedExCup standings.

“I figure I’m going to have to do something in the mid-60s for two straight days here,” Woods said, via USA Today. “Left myself pretty far behind after the first two rounds. What’s more amazing is how many guys are under par on this golf course.

“We all thought this was one of the more-tough and bigger ballparks, and the whole field is playing well. There’s normally a few guys that are struggling. The entire field is playing well is something that we’re all pretty surprised at.”

Woods has had an up-and-down season this year on Tour. He has played in just 10 official events, and withdrew from last week’s The Northern Trust after an opening-round 75. While he has four top-10 finishes — including a historic win at The Masters in April — he missed the cut at both the PGA Championship and The Open Championship.

Reaching East Lake, where he won the Tour Championship last season to mark his first win since 2013, is still no easy task for Woods. It’ll be an uphill battle on Sunday.

After Saturday’s round, however, he’s ready for the challenge — and knows what it’s going to take to solidify his spot in the final Tour event of the season.

“I shoot 60, it should be right,” Woods said, via the PGA Tour.

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