Preview: Tiger Woods at the BMW Championship
August 13, 2019
By Staff, PGATOUR.COM
- August 13, 2019
Tiger Woods' 81 victories on PGA TOUR
MEDINAH, Ill. -- With one more win, Tiger Woods will tie Sam Snead for most career PGA TOUR victories at 82. Each time Tiger tees it up, we’ll take a look at his chances for that particular week. Here’s a CHASING 82 preview entering this week’s BMW Championship, the second event of the FedExCup Playoffs.
Two words: Not good. We’re not talking just performances, but his health also is a question mark after he withdrew following the first round of last week’s THE NORTHERN TRUST, the FedExCup Playoffs opener, with an oblique strain.
In the build-up to the first round at Liberty National, Tiger stopped taking full swings during his pro-am round, citing stiffness in his back. He gradually ended up just working on his short game that Wednesday.
He then went out Thursday morning and shot a 4-over 75, one of the worst scores of the morning wave. Woods didn’t blame any physical problems, however, saying he just played poorly.
But then he withdrew before his second round, although his agent Mark Steinberg said it was more of a precautionary move.
Still, given that in the last eight weeks he’s managed just a missed cut at The Open Championship and last week’s WD, that means he’s played just three rounds in that stretch.
Because of his WD, Woods fell outside the top 30 in points, dropping 10 spots to 38th going into this week at Medinah. He’ll likely need a solo 11th or better to move back inside the top 30 and secure his spot for the TOUR Championship, an event he won last year.
He’s listed as part of the field for this week, but for some, his status remains in doubt until he launches a tee shot Thursday. And even then – if you consider last week -- there’s no guarantee he’ll last the full 72 holes in this no-cut event.
Woods is making his 18th start at the BMW Championship; 16 of those as a pro, as he played as an amateur in 1994 and 1995. He’s won the event five times (all at Cog Hill), including twice in the FedExCup era in 2007 and 2009. His appearance last season was his first in this event after a five-year absence. Here’s a look at his five wins:
1997 – At Cog Hill, Woods shot a final-round 68 to beat Frank Nobilo by three strokes.
1999 – At Cog Hill, Woods followed his second-round 66 with a third-round 68, giving him a four-shot advantage heading into the final round, as he cruised from there.
2003 – At Cog Hill, Woods opened with a record-tying 63 and led wire-to-wire for a five-shot win over Rich Beem.
2007 – At Cog Hill in the first year of the FedExCup Playoffs, Woods set the tournament scoring record with a 22-under 262, shooting a final-round 63 to overtake Aaron Baddeley for a two-shot victory. He would claim the inaugural FedExCup in his next start in winning the TOUR Championship.
2009 – At Cog Hill, Woods’ third-round 62 gave him a 7-shot cushion entering the final round, as he tied Walter Hagen’s championship record of five wins in this event.
Tiger has made two appearances in stroke-play events at Medinah … and has won them both.
1999 PGA Championship – Woods, then 23, won the second major of his career. He entered the final round tied with Mike Weir, then shot a 72 to hold off hard-charging youngster Sergio Garcia by a stroke. “To come out of it on top took everything out of me. I just tried to hold him off and did the best I could,” Woods said.
2006 PGA Championship – Woods finished at 18 under (69-68-65-68) to win by five strokes over Shaun Micheel. His total tied the aggregate low score at that time in PGA Championship history. Afterwards, Woods mentioned how much he liked Medinah, mentioning not just his two victories, but also his rounds with Chicago Bulls icon Michael Jordan. “I’ve always loved playing here. It’s a straightforward golf course. We don’t get to play golf courses like this.”
2012 Ryder Cup – Woods and partner Steve Stricker lost all three of their matches together, yet the Americans still led 10-6 going into Sunday’s Singles. Woods was the last American on the course that day, but after the Europeans rallied, his match against Francesco Molinari did not affect the outcome. Woods conceded the final hole to settle for a tie. “We came here as a team. This is a team event. And the Cup was already retained by Europe, so it was already over,” Woods explained. In four matches, Woods produced 0.5 points.
Tiger is grouped with Billy Horschel and C.T. Pan for the first two rounds. That threesome will tee off Thursday at 12:54 p.m. ET, and on Friday at 10:37 a.m. ET. Follow PGA TOUR LIVE for all the action.