Woods needs miracle to make it to East Lake
Third-round 67 at BMW a positive step, but has uphill climb to reach TOUR Championship
August 17, 2019
By Cameron Morfit, PGATOUR.COM
Tiger Woods interview after Round 3 of BMW Championship
MEDINAH, Ill. – Tiger Woods won the 1999 and 2006 PGA Championships at Medinah No. 3, but he’ll need something extraordinary to achieve a victory of a different type this week.
He had just shot a 5-under 67 at the BMW Championship when he was asked what it might take for him to reach next week’s 30-man TOUR Championship at East Lake.
“I shoot 60, it should be right,” he said.
The assembled press laughed, but at 7 under and far behind the leaders, Woods probably wasn’t far from the truth. He needs no worse than a solo 11th place finish to move from 38th to inside the top 30 in the FedExCup.
Alas, he was projected to drop a few spots even after his first bogey-free round since last year’s third round at the BMW Championship. Playing alongside Dustin Johnson (72), he tallied just 27 putts, his fewest of the week, and was six-for-six in scrambling.
“I figured I'm going to have to do something in mid-60s for two straight days there,” Woods said. “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. There isn't one person over-par.
“Who would have guessed that going into this week?” he continued. “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 playing well is something that we're all pretty surprised at.”
Woods has limited his starts since winning the Masters Tournament in April, and had admitted to fatigue. He withdrew from THE NORTHERN TRUST with an oblique strain after an opening-round 75, and limited himself to just nine holes of practice before the start of the BMW.
Some days, he said, are better than others, health-wise. Getting the club in the right positions through the swing helps, but it works the other way around, too. Feeling better also helps him get the club in the right positions. He never knows how he’ll feel from day-to-day.
“I’m going to have some difficulties here and there,” he said. “I got to fight through it and be patient with it.”
East Lake has been on his mind because it was the site of his historic 80th victory a year ago, his first PGA TOUR victory in over five years. It’s going to take something special to get back.
At the very least, he said, he was pleased to keep a clean card Saturday.
“I didn't do that the first two days (71-71),” he said. “I made some really stupid mistakes out there. Didn't hit the ball close when I needed to and I missed some easy putts for par or birdie. This was nice to at least give myself a chance to make it to next week.”