Tiger Woods Shoots 3 Over Par in Round 1 of 2020 BMW Championship

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistAugust 27, 2020

Tiger Woods hits from the 12th tee during the first round of the BMW Championship golf tournament, Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020, at Olympia Fields Country Club in Olympia Fields, Ill. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
Charles Rex Arbogast/Associated Press

The 2020 BMW Championship didn't do golfers any favors Thursday, least of all Tiger Woods.

The 15-time major winner sits in a tie for 35th after carding a three-over 73 in the opening round of the FedEx Cup's second leg. Despite a shaky day, Woods remains firmly in contention, six strokes back of leader Hideki Matsuyama.

Just three golfers sit under par at Olympia Fields, which played fast and firm with difficult gusts of wind to boot. 

Woods managed to scrape by at even par over his first 15 holes in spite of his struggles off the tee and with his putter, but things fell apart down the stretch. Tiger missed three straight par putts inside 10 feet, including one from just four feet out on No. 8, to walk into the clubhouse frustrated with a 73.

"This golf course is set up more like a U.S. Open than it is a regular Tour event," Woods told reporters coming into the event. "But this is the playoffs. It's supposed to be hard. ... Pars will be at a premium, putting the ball in the fairway and trying to keep the ball in the correct spots. The greens are quick, hard and firm for now. The weather is supposed to be really hot the next three days and maybe breaking Friday night. But until then this is going to be a very difficult golf course."

For the round, the PGA measured that Woods lost 0.6 strokes alone on the green and hit just two-thirds of his greens in regulation, owing most of that to poor drives.

Since winning two of the first three BMW Championships (2007 and 2009), Woods has not won the event.

His first-round struggles will make the climb even steeper if Woods hopes to qualify for next week's Tour Championship. Tiger will need a sixth-place-or-better finish to have a shot at getting into the top 30 for FedEx Cup points and qualify for the event.