BMW Championship 2013: Day 3 Leaderboard Analysis, Highlights and More

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistSeptember 14, 2013

LAKE FOREST, IL - SEPTEMBER 14: Steve Stricker hits off the fourth tee during the Third Round of the BMW Championship at Conway Farms Golf Club on September 14, 2013 in Lake Forest, Illinois.  (Photo by Michael Cohen/Getty Images)
Michael Cohen/Getty Images

Jim Furyk posted another solid round Saturday to hold on to the lead at the BMW Championship. However, the tournament is far from over with one day remaining.

A day after posting a 59 to grab a share of the lead, Furyk followed up with a 69 to stay ahead of a surging Steve Stricker.

Tiger Woods also remains in contention after a fantastic effort on Day 3, posting a 66. Another strong performance on Sunday could give the superstar his sixth win of the year.

Of course, you truly cannot count out anyone at Conway Farms Golf Course heading into the final round. Here is a look at the top of the leaderboard after Round 3:


Steadiness at the Top

At the start of Saturday, Furyk and Brandt Snedeker were tied for first place, with Zach Johnson not far behind in third place. All three players remained in the top four when the day concluded.

Furyk picked up right where he left off after his 59 on Friday. His third round was not quite as impressive, but he still stands at 13 strokes under par with a one-stroke lead heading into the final day.

Furyk had this to say about his day (via CBS Sports):

The goal was to go out and shoot a good number today, get myself in position to win this golf tournament. It could have been better out there. ... Obviously, I dropped that shot at 18, which I'm disappointed. It was probably one of the easier holes of the day. But I've got myself in good position, so rather than harp on the last hole, I'd probably tend to want to think about tomorrow and what I have to do to try to win a golf tournament.

As the Twitter account Bunkers Paradise points out, the current leader is not the best driver on tour:

Still, it does not seem to matter when he can make approach shots like this:

Although Snedeker did not have the day he wanted with four bogeys in the round, his 71 was good enough for third place.

Meanwhile, Johnson was his usual steady self with a 69 to sit in fourth place after three rounds.

None of these players were spectacular on Saturday, but they did enough to stay in the hunt for a title at the BMW Championship.


Surging Tiger

After carding a 72 on Friday, it seemed as though Woods had played himself out of contention at this tournament. Starting the day off with four pars and a bogey on No. 5 did little to change that impression. 

However, the No. 1 player in the world saw something click on the sixth hole Saturday, earning a birdie with this 30-foot putt:

This led to an incredible run of golf, as described by Kelly Tilghman of Golf Channel:

He ended up with another bogey and birdie after this run to finish with a 66, putting him nine strokes under par for the tournament. 

USA Today's Steve DiMeglio provided this from Woods:

I had a nice little run to at least get myself in there where I have a chance (Sunday). I fought back today, which was not easy to do. Today was a tough round, but I fought and got myself back within striking distance.

Over the past few weeks, Woods had struggled with consistency on the greens, but he was incredible in the third round on the green. He was making both long and short putts and clearly had better control of his speeds.

If he can continue this type of work Sunday, he could easily come away with another victory.


More Impressive Performances

With a tournament featuring only the top 70 golfers from this season, you can assume you will have some great performances every day.

Although no one was able to match Furyk's 59, strong third-round showings littered the top of the leaderboard.

Matt Kuchar had one of the best rounds of the day despite the fact that he began tied for 61st place. He had no bogeys with 10 birdies to card a 61, thanks in part to great approach shots like this:

It will be hard for him to climb back into contention, but every stroke matters in the FedEx Cup, especially for Kuchar, who entered the tournament in fourth place in the standings.

Still, a few other notable players put themselves in position to win the BMW Championship with a strong showing in the third round.

Hunter Mahan posted a 65 to sit at six strokes under par for the tournament. He also had the best single shot of the day with an ace on No. 17:

This hole-in-one was good for more than just Mahan:

Of course, one of the most impressive rounds of the day belonged to Steve Stricker, who finished with a 64 to get within one stroke of the lead. K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune did a good job describing a key shot for the veteran:

Each of these great efforts completely changed the tournament and in turn the FedEx Cup.


Tour Championship Cutoff

Only the top 30 competitors in the FedEx Cup standings will get an invitation to the Tour Championship, which makes the current tournament crucial.

A number of high-profile players are either on the outside of this line or dangerously close to it. This includes Bubba Watson, Lee Westwood, Luke Donald, Dustin Johnson and many more top players, which you can see in's latest projections.

Each of these men will hope to have a strong showing Sunday in order to simply qualify for the next tournament.


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