By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Here's a look at the FedExCup projections and implications following Saturday's third round of the BMW Championship:
FINAL 30 MOVES: Nick Watney is the only player currently projected to move from outside the top 30 to inside the number. He shot a 1-under 70 on Saturday and though he dropped four spots into a tie for eighth is still safely in the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola -- for the moment -- at No. 27 in the projected standings. Lee Westwood, meanwhile, is projected to fall from 30th to 44th after a third-round 69 that was good enough to move him up just one spot on the leaderboard into a tie for 66th.
NO. 1: Tiger Woods, who lost his spot atop the FedExCup standings to Henrik Stenson following Stenson's win at the Deutsche Bank Championship is currently projected to move back to No. 1. Woods is alone in fifth after a 66 Saturday to get him within four of the lead.
TOP 5: Leader Jim Furyk would move from 15th to third in the standings, while Steve Stricker, who is one shot back, would climb from eighth to fourth in the standings. Stenson, who is tied for 18th at Conway Farms, is projected to drop to second in the FedExCup, while Adam Scott, in a tie for 41st through three rounds, would move from third to fifth.
BIGGEST MOVERS: Zach Johnson, who is alone in fourth in the tournament, is projected to jump 15 spots to No. 12, while Ryan Moore moved from 65th to 36th in the projections, giving him an outside chance at reaching East Lake. Luke Donald and Matt Jones still have a shot, too, moving from 41st and 39th, respectively, in the projections after each shot 67 to jump up 11 spots on the leaderboard.
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Following up a 59 was the easy part.
Trying to win for the first time in three years is another story.
"How upset are you going to get today?" said Jim Furyk a day after his historic round. "I think there's probably a mental battle to (the next round). I felt good with my swing today. I felt like I played a solid round of golf.
"I think winning a golf tournament is obviously the tougher one. It's been a while. I'm going to put pressure on myself. That'll be the struggle."
Except for a mental lapse early in his round -- he played his first four holes in 1 over -- Furyk did anything but struggle on Saturday.
He stuck his approach shot on the par-4 seventh to 7 feet for the first of three birdies in a five-hole stretch and went on to add one more on the par-4 15th after hitting it to 4 feet.
The only other hiccup came on the par-5 18th, where Furyk drove it in the rough, laid up then three-putted. Still, it was the first fairway Furyk had missed in 32 holes and he'll take a one-shot lead over Steve Stricker to the final round after a 2-under 69.
The rest of the time he just soaked in all the adulation that came with reaching golf's magic number.
"I had probably twice as many emails and texts last night than I have ever had after winning a golf tournament," said Furyk, who got messages from Russell Knox, who shot 59 on the Web.com Tour earlier this summer, and from Paul Goydos, who did it at the John Deere Classic in 2010 and told Furyk, "Nice playing, my friend."
Furyk answered them all and will try to answer to himself on Sunday.
Since his victory at the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola in 2010, Furyk has had multiple opportunities to win: at Tampa, the U.S. Open, Firestone and Sea Island last year; at the PGA Championship this season.
"When I've won golf tournaments, I've been able to win that battle within," Furyk said. "There's always pressure to win, and I'm going to put pressure on myself because I expect myself to play well, and I expect more of myself than anyone else.
"It's been three years. No one has to remind me of the TOUR Championship in '10, and as I've had some of the close calls last year, I definitely put some more pressure on myself, and that'll be part of the mental game and the mental aspect of it (Sunday). I'll play my best if I'm focused on the task at hand, not on the results."
LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Jim Furyk's third round at the BMW Championship wasn't as spectacular as his second round. But it was effective enough to keep him in the lead.
Furyk followed his PGA TOUR record-tying 59 on Friday with a 2-under 69 to grab the solo lead after 54 holes at Conway Farms.
"I got myself in position to win this golf tournament," said Furyk, who is 13 under for the tournament.
Furyk reached the par-5 18th with a two-stroke lead, but he missed the fairway with his tee shot. That ended a streak of 32 consecutive fairways hit at Conway Farms. It was his first fairway missed since his 12th hole in the first round.
The missed fairway proved costly, as he missed a par putt from inside 5 feet.
Furyk will now take a one-shot lead over Steve Stricker going into a Sunday in which there is a 90 percent chance of rain.
"The weather is going to be an issue," Stricker said.
Brant Snedeker is in solo third at 11 under after shooting an even-par 71. Zach Johnson is another stroke back in fourth place.
Tiger Woods moved into contention with a 5-under 66. He will start the final round in solo fifth at 9 under, four shots off the lead.
"I had a nice little run to at least get myself in there where I have a chance tomorrow," Woods said.
Thanks to his 59 -- the sixth time it has been shot on TOUR -- Furyk entered Saturday as the co-leader with Snedeker.
But while Furyk stayed in the lead, Snedeker struggled. making bogeys on three of his first five holes.
He managed a birdie on the final hole, though, to get back to even par on his round and keep himself in range of making a move Sunday.
"Today was a struggle," Snedeker said. "Hit it really poorly all day."
On the flip side, Matt Kuchar hit nearly perfect, shooting a 10-under 61. That left him at 5 under and in a tie for 16th.
The final round at Conway Farms will decide the 30 players who advance to the FedExCup Playoffs finale next week. Only the top 30 in FedExCup points will move on to East Lake.
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- A day after being assessed a two-stroke penalty, Tiger Woods' position hadn't changed.
"After seeing the video I thought the ball just oscillated," he said. "I thought that was the end of story. But they saw otherwise."
Woods and rules officials viewed the replay of his opening hole Friday several times, and Woods admitted to being "hot" over the ruling, adding, "We had a very good discussion.
"They replayed it again and again and again, and I felt the same way."
It didn't seem to affect his play in the third round, however.
Woods shot a 5-under 66 to get to 9 under and is alone in fifth, four shots off the lead with one round to go in the BMW Championship.
At one point, Woods strung together six birdies over a seven-hole stretch in the middle of the round. He missed just two fairways and needed only 24 putts, making seven birdies in all and just one bogey.
Still, it was difficult for Woods to get over the penalty.
"It's hard," Woods said when asked how difficult to concentrate on Saturday. "When situations like that happen, I had to fight, and I fought my tail off today, and I'm very proud of that, and I got myself back in the tournament.
"You know, there were a lot of thoughts going on (Friday) night, but the sun comes up in the east, and we start a new day."
A new day, but not the first time a penalty might prove costly to Woods.
In Abu Dhabi earlier this year an incorrect drop led to a two-stroke penalty and consequently a missed cut for Woods.
At the Masters, he was penalized again for taking an incorrect drop after his ball ricocheted into the water on the 15th hole during the second round.
He wasn't issued that penalty until the following morning and began his round four shots back instead of just two. He went on to finish fourth.
"At Augusta after going through it on Saturday morning, yeah, I did take the wrong drop," Woods said. "But (Friday) I didn't feel like I did anything. I moved the pine cone right behind my ball. I feel like the ball oscillated, and I just left it. That's not -- evidently it wasn't enough."
The only question now is whether it will be too much for Woods to overcome on Sunday.
By Fred Albers, PGATOUR.COM Correspondent
LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Tiger Woods admitted he left the course on Friday, frustrated and a “little hot.” I think he channeled those emotions into shooting a 66 on Saturday.
Woods said there was no extra motivation following a two-stroke penalty assessed following the second round when officials ruled his ball moved prior to a shot behind the first green, but he seemed very focused from the opening tee shot on Saturday.
Twice, he put together runs of three consecutive birdies and had a six-foot putt on the 14th green to reach 10 under for the tournament. Woods misread the putt and made par. You could just feel the air come out of the balloon and Woods followed up that par at the 14th by hitting his tee ball into the water hazard at the 15th.
To Woods’ credit, he one-putted his last four holes, including a birdie on the 18th.
I thought Tiger was able to turn some negative emotions on Friday into a positive result on Saturday.
Fairways: You can break down plenty of reasons why Jim Furyk leads the tournament but I say it starts with his driving. Furyk has missed five fairways for the week. He was a perfect 14-for-14 on Friday when he shot 59 and was 13 of 14 in the third round. Because so many greens at Conway Farms sit diagonally to the fairway, it’s critical to have the right angle for approach. Furyk leads the tournament in proximity to the hole but is able to be aggressive with those approaches because of his driving accuracy.
Wedge play: Several players were tempted to drive the 305-yard 15th hole but Steve Stricker never hesitated off the tee. He hit a 218-yard lay up with his drive and then slam-dunked a 99-yard wedge for eagle. Nobody on the PGA TOUR understands his game better than Stricker and nobody plays to their strengths better than him.
Tough stretch: Pay special attention to Nos. 4, 5 and 6 in the final round. It’s the single toughest three-hole test on the golf course. The fourth plays 488 yards, the fifth is a 436-yard dogleg right and the sixth a difficult 200-yard par 3 over a marsh. That rotation ranks as the sixth, second and fourth most difficult holes through the first three rounds, respectively. That stretch can sap a player’s momentum and have him playing defense for the remainder of the day.
Plumb bob: Woods brought in his caddie, Joe LaCava, for a couple of reads in the third round. He asked LaCava’s opinion on the 11th hole and again at the 14th. The longtime caddie has an unusual technique for reading putts. He plumb-bobs with the flagstick. LaCava uses the flagstick like a player would use a putter to determine the break of a putt. How did LaCava do? He correctly read the putt on 11, resulting in birdie, while the 14th hole was a misread.
Tiger, Sergio professional: Woods and Sergio Garcia have a bit of a frosty history this season. They argued at THE PLAYERS Championship and some wondered how they would behave when paired together on Saturday. They could not have been more professional. There was not a lot of chit-chat during play but there was also no animosity. Garcia and Woods removed their caps and shook hands following their rounds. They were both very professional and in keeping with the spirit of the game.
Fred Albers is a course reporter for SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio. For more information on SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio, click here
Watch Stricker's eagle two from 99 yards at the 15th hole Saturday.
By Mike McAllister, PGATOUR.COM
LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Steve Stricker said he had a number in mind going into Saturday's third round of the BMW Championship. A number that would allow him to move into contention and challenge for his first win on the PGA TOUR season.
The number was 8-under 63. Stricker didn't quite get there. But he came close, shooting a 64 that moved him to 12 under for the tournament and in second place behind Jim Furyk.
The 64 ties Stricker's career low in 73 career rounds at the BMW Championship.
"I had a number in mind to start the day, which I typically don't do," Stricker said. "Came up a little short, but all in all it was a good day."
After making the turn at 2 under, Stricker birdied two of his three holes to start the back nine.
But the key shot was his sand wedge for 99 yards at the paar-4 15th. He slam-dunked the shot for an eagle two.
"I've holed out a few wedges over my career," Stricker said, "but I don't know if any of them slam-dunked in that like. It's a shock to see something like that go in."
After a bogey at the 17th, he bounced back with a birdie at the par-5 18th.
Stricker entered this week ranked eighth in FedExCup points, but is now projected to move to fourth. The top five after this week control their own destiny heading into the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola.
"I won't pay attention to that part so much as trying to win the tournament," Stricker said.
LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- The final twosome of Jim Furyk and Brandt Snedeker have made the turn in Saturday's third round of the BMW Championship, with Furyk leading Snedeker by one stroke.
A day after becoming the sixth player in PGA TOUR history to shoot 59, Furyk went out in even par for the first nine holes Saturday. That was good enough to maintain the lead as his 36-hole co-leader Snedeker dropped three strokes in the first five holes before rallying back with two birdies.
Tiger Woods, meanwhile, has put on a charge. He's 5 under on his round through 14 holes and has moved to 9 under for the tournament, which currently puts him in a tie for third with Steve Stricker and Zach Johnson.
Hunter Mahan shot a 6-under 65 that included a hole-in-one at the par-3 17th and is now 7 under for the tournament.
By PGATOUR.COM staff
LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Hunter Mahan recorded the 42nd ace in BMW Championship history when his tee shot at the par-3 17th rolled into the cup during Saturday's third round of the BMW Championship.
Mahan used a 5-iron to record the second ace of his career. His first ace was at the 2006 Zurich Classic of New Orleans.
"The wind was maybe just a little bit in and right to left, so it's a great pin to go after because it is on the left side," Mahan said after his round of 6-under 65, which moved him into the top 10 on the leaderboard.
"I hit it and I hit it solid. It was just left of the hole. Obviously needed a good kick, and I saw it bounce and I thought, it's going to be OK.
"From there, we just heard the roars, and it just got better and better."
Mahan not only picked up two strokes on the field, he also won a 2014 BMW I3 car. Also, a $100,000 scholarship in his name will be given by BMW to the Evans Scholars Foundation.
"That's awesome of BMW to do that, to have that Evans Scholarship," Mahan said. "I remember playing the Western Junior and hearing about it, and it's a great thing that they do. Caddies are a big part of golf, and it's awesome that a kid is going to have a great education, so that's amazing."
The 17th is playing at 210 yards in the third round.
The first ace in tournament history was recorded in 1910 by Otta Hackbarth. Mahan's ace is the fifth since the tournament became part of the FedExCup Playoffs rotation in 2007.