In Round 3 of the BMW Championship, Tiger Woods had his best day on the golf course in quite a while. Woods shot a bogey-free, 5-under 67 at Medinah Country Club to climb up the leaderboard and give himself a shot at advancing in the FedEx Cup Playoffs.
Let's take a deep dive into his third round and what's in store for tomorrow in what could be his final round of the 2018-19 PGA Tour season.
Front nine (2-under 34): Woods again took advantage of the par 5s on the front side, playing them in 1 under (the third straight day he's been 1 under or better on the front-nine par 5s). He went out in 34 before weather suspended his walk on the second nine of the course.
Back nine (3-under 33): Woods birdied both par 5s (a theme!) as well as the par-4 16th, which is one of the more memorable holes of his illustrious major championship career (this is where Sergio Garcia hit the wild, behind-a-tree shot at the 1999 PGA Championship). He actually had a decent look at a birdie on the final hole for a 6-under 66, but he missed left and settled ("settled") for a 67.
What went well: Woods hit it beautifully on Saturday, and at the time he finished was top 20 in strokes gained on approach shots, driving, from tee to green and with his putter. The most noticeable difference was probably on the greens, where he hit fewer greens than on Friday but somehow made no bogeys compared to four in Round 2.
9th career bogey-free round in the FedExCup Playoffs for Tiger. Woods had his best strokes gained approach performance of the week (+1.45) and was much better on the greens today (+1.56 SG putting today; -0.92 in 2nd round).— Justin Ray (@JustinRayGolf) August 17, 2019
What went poorly: Big Cat lost a little distance off the tee (maybe there's a lesson in here), but everything else was clicking solidly for him.
Quote of the day: Woods was almost in disbelief at how easy Medinah was playing and how this group of 69 golfers was playing it. The scoring average for the week at the time Woods finished was 69.7.
"It's crazy that there's only one person over par in the entire field," Woods told Golf Channel. "It's hard to fathom that we're all scoring as well as we are on this golf course. This is supposed to be one of the most difficult golf courses."
Stat of the day: The 67 was Tiger's third score in the 60s since winning the Masters. He also shot 67 in the final round of the Memorial Tournament, and a 69 in the final round of the U.S. Open in June.
Where he stands and what's next: At the time he finished, Woods had played his way into the top 30 on the leaderboard and occupied some territory he hasn't in a while. He'll have to replicate Round 3 in Round 4 on Sunday, though. Woods needs to play his way into the top 10 or so on the leaderboard to move into the top 30 in the FedEx Cup standings and get to the Tour Championship next weekend.
"We'll see," Woods said of his chances at East Lake. "I might be off the 10th tee first off, but at least I have a chance."