Tiger Woods Struggles in Round 3 at 2020 BMW Championship

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistAugust 29, 2020

Tiger Woods looks at the first fairway during the third round Saturday, Aug. 29, 2020, for the BMW Championship golf tournament at the Olympia Fields Country Club in Olympia Fields, Ill. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
Charles Rex Arbogast/Associated Press

Tiger Woods' quest to qualify for the Tour Championship remained a long shot after he carded a two-over 72 in Saturday's third round of the 2020 BMW Championship at Olympia Fields Country Club in Illinois. 

Woods carded two birdies, one bogey and a triple bogey on the 17th that eliminated his early progress in Round 3 after struggles over the first two days left him at eight over.

He continued to lag behind in the projected FedEx Cup standings, as he walked off the course in 64th place. He must reach the top 30 to play next week.

The 15-time major champion also isn't a factor on the BMW leaderboard, as he's tied for 57th with the afternoon wave of play just getting started.


Back-to-back birdies for @TigerWoods. He needs a top-5 finish to qualify for the @PlayoffFinale. He's currently 7 shots off the lead (T39). #QuickHits https://t.co/FzMCNQNtQ7

Most of the focus heading into the busiest stretch of the restructured PGA Tour season was on Woods' health as he attempted to play three consecutive weeks in the playoffs and four times in five weeks counting the U.S. Open, which tees off Sept. 17 at Winged Foot Golf Club in New York.

While the 44-year-old superstar's back has held up, his play hasn't lived up to expectations.

The BMW Championship represents Woods' fourth start since the Tour resumed in June following a three-month hiatus because of the coronavirus pandemic. He's been a non-factor in all the events, finishing 40th in the Memorial, 37th in the PGA Championship and 58th in the Northern Trust.

His play Saturday was mostly solid even in difficult conditions, but it still fell short of what it's going to take to contend at one of the year's remaining majors. Along with the U.S. Open next month, The Masters begins Nov. 12, and Woods is the defending champion.

Woods' iron play was OK in the third round, as he hit 61.1 percent of greens in regulation, and his work with the putter was a bright spot at times (0.24 strokes gained), but his play off the tee (42.9 percent of fairways hit) prevented him from making a charge, and his drive into the water on No. 17 created a mess.


Tiger has scrambled for par all 3 rounds on the first hole. Today's par might be the most impressive. #QuickHits https://t.co/jHY7yGhKaU

Though he would have liked to qualify for the Tour Championship, a marquee event he's won three times, the additional week of rest before the U.S. Open might help him in the long run.

Woods has frequently mentioned how back injuries and his desire to spend time with family have lessened what was a workaholic practice schedule. Some extra time to work with his driver next week rather than trying to focus on winning a tournament could be a net positive for the rest of the year.

That said, Woods will still try to go super low Sunday and hope for a lot of help so he can land an unlikely berth in the Tour Championship.