Tiger Woods posts 66 but can't make up much ground at BMW Championship

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Tiger Woods posts 66 but can't make up much ground at BMW Championship

PGA Tour

Tiger Woods posts 66 but can't make up much ground at BMW Championship

Tiger Woods teased early on Saturday at the BMW Championship, but ultimately this will go down as a missed opportunity.

A day that began birdie-birdie for Woods cooled off for a while. He finished strong, but his 4-under 66 didn’t make up much ground on an extremely scoreable Saturday at Aronimink.

Woods’ 12-under total put him in a tie for 11th. He is five back (where he started the round) of leader Justin Rose. Not exactly ideal position from which to make a final-round run at the title, especially considering Woods was a co-leader through 18 holes.

Heavy overnight rain forced the third round to be pushed back a few hours, leading to players being re-paired in threesomes off split tees.

The delay didn’t seem to hurt Woods, though, as his round started off like it might be something special.

Woods coaxed in a 13-footer for birdie at the par-4 first and drained an 11-footer at the par-4 second for a birdie-birdie start to reach 10 under. When he lined up a 12-footer at the par-4 third, Woods had that for three straight birdies to open and move within two of the lead.

The hot putter that came about Thursday – Woods switched back to his old Scotty Cameron this week – had reemerged early in the round after a cold Friday. It appeared the day was trending toward something low.

But just as suddenly, the Scotty proved frigid again. Woods missed that birdie putt right and did the same on a 10-footer for birdie two holes later.

It was the beginning of a frustrating stall on a day where Woods needed a bunch of birdies in pristine scoring conditions to challenge the leaders.

Woods missed another 10-footer for birdie at the par-3 eighth. The agony was compounded when a 12-footer for birdie at the par-5 ninth horseshoed out.

And it only became worse when a 7-footer for birdie at the par-4 10th slid by on the left.

There was an 8-footer for par he drilled at the par-4 12th, but otherwise it was an extremely vexing run of 11 straight pars after that birdie-birdie start.

In the process, Woods fell several shots back and almost out of the top 20. A nice finish helped salvage matters, though.

Woods knocked his tee shot to 10 feet at the par-3 14th and drained the putt to finally make his third birdie of the day. Two holes later, he chipped to 3 feet and birdied the par-5 16th.

He was now 4 under for the round, 12 under overall and back in the top 10.

A pair of closing pars allowed him to finish out the round, as opposed to the bogey-bogey conclusion Friday that relegated him to a second-round 70 and a spot five off the lead.

The great driving display continued for Woods, who found 10/14 fairways on the round. He found 16/18 greens in regulation and his approach play was generally impressive as well (although not as pristine as those numbers might portray)

But for the second straight day, putting issues flummoxed him.

After his birdie-birdie start, Woods missed five birdie chances inside 15 feet. Once the frustration mounted, Woods began making putts again but it was too late for him to score the really low round he needed.

With a disastrous forecast ahead Sunday, it’s quite possible this tournament is headed toward a Monday finish. There are even rumblings that this one could be shortened to 54 holes, although that is still an unlikely scenario at the moment.

For now, we’ll assume this tournament remains 72 holes.

It may’ve been a Saturday 66 for Woods and he’s still in contention. But he’ll need an otherworldly final round for a shot at a comeback win.

Considering Woods began the week 7 under through 10 and tied for the lead after an opening 8-under 62, that’s a disappointing reality.

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