Tiger Woods made strides toward potentially qualifying for the Tour Championship with a five-under 67 in the third round of the BMW Championship at Medinah Country Club in Medinah, Illinois, on Saturday.
After carding matching rounds of one-under 71 on Thursday and Friday, Tiger was locked in during the third round, and he ended his day in a tie for 26th place at seven under, five strokes behind leader Hideki Matsuyama. He was also two shots behind the top 11 when he entered the clubhouse.
Woods is projected to need a finish of 11th or better in order to be among the 30 golfers included in the Tour Championship field. Tiger ended a long drought by winning his third career Tour Championship last year.
The reigning Masters champion traded birdies and bogeys with regularity in the first and second rounds of the BMW Championship, but he played a far cleaner third round with five birdies and no bogeys.
Woods' first birdie of the day came on the par-four fourth after he stuck his approach shot within nine feet and read the green perfectly:
His second and final birdie on the front nine came on the par-five seventh, as he reached the green in two shots and set himself up for an easy four:
Tiger did much of his damage on the back nine, beginning with a birdie on the par-five 10th. The round was delayed for about an hour shortly thereafter because of inclement weather, but it did little to slow down the 43-year-old veteran.
Woods continued his domination of Medinah's par-fives when he birdied No. 14 after nestling his third shot within striking distance:
Tiger's fine putting continued on the par-four 16th when he pumped one home from at least 25 feet away to move to five under on the day and seven under for the tournament:
Woods went out with a pair of pars to preserve the bogey-free day, and the overall numbers told the story of a strong round:
Considering how much he struggled at times Thursday and Friday, and the fact that he was forced to withdraw from the Northern Trust last week with an oblique injury, Woods' performance Saturday was encouraging.
He may need to equal or better Saturday's showing in the final round of the BMW Championship to crack the top 11, but now that he has momentum on his side, it seems like a far more realistic possibility.