Tiger Woods makes his move with Saturday 67 at BMW Championship

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Tiger Woods makes his move with Saturday 67 at BMW Championship

PGA Tour

Tiger Woods makes his move with Saturday 67 at BMW Championship

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MEDINAH, IL. – Tiger Woods still has a chance to get to Atlanta.

While the odds are long against him, he’s not between a rock and a hard place as he tries to get to next week’s season-ending Tour Championship at East Lake in Atlanta. With a bogey-free, 5-under-par 67 Saturday in the third round of the BMW Championship at Medinah Country Club, Woods remained in the picture to get back to East Lake to defend his title.

His victory last year in the Tour Championship was his first PGA Tour title since 2013 and was a stunning conclusion to his remarkable comeback.

“I felt good,” said Woods, who is at 7 under after rounds of 71-71-67. “Basically, the only difference between today and last couple of days I was able to clean up the card. I didn’t have any stupid mistakes where I made bogey from bad spots or from easy spots. I did the little things that was able to keep the momentum going and made a couple putts here and there.

“At least, I’ve got a shot at it.”

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The 67 was just Woods’ third round in the 60s since winning the Masters in April. And it was the first time he went bogey-free since last year’s BMW Championship at Aronimink in Pennsylvania.

Woods likely will need to shoot lower than 67 in Sunday’s final round to put him in the top 30 players in the standings who will head to East Lake. When he left the course Saturday, he was projected in 43rd place. It’s doable – this week, there has been a course-record 63, a 64 and three 65s.

Projections have Woods, who is tied for 31st, needing to finish T-6 or better to qualify for East Lake, according to the PGA Tour.

“I figure I’m going to have to do something in the mid-60s for two straight days here,” he said. “Left myself pretty far behind after the first two rounds. What’s more amazing is how many guys are under par on this golf course.

“We all thought this was one of the more tough and bigger ballparks, and the whole field is playing well. There’s normally a few guys that are struggling. The entire field is playing well is something that we’re all pretty surprised at.”

So many playing so well doesn’t help his chances. Nor does Medinah playing so soft after recent storms. But Woods said he’s feeling as well as he has since the Masters, and not even a weather delay of 1 hour, 16 minutes got to him in Saturday’s third round.

“Things I’m working on in my game definitely make me feel a little bit better,” Woods said. “But it’s just one of those things where some days I feel better than others, but also, then again, it’s what I do with the golf club, too. Able to swing the club properly. Body feels better.”

And Woods will feel a whole lot better if he does fire a 64 Sunday and earn a spot in Atlanta. His win last year – the 80th of his career – remains fresh in his mind. Especially Sunday’s final round when he battled Justin Rose and Rory McIlroy down the stretch and then led thousands of fans on the 18th fairway to the final green.

“It has been in the back of my mind to get there,” Woods said. “I want to get to the Tour Championship where I got a chance to win our Cup. And on top of that, that’s where the entire summer of work (last year), the body of work finally culminated in a win. Having a chance at the British Open and PGA, played a good round at Aronimink.

“Things were trending in the right direction and I put it altogether for one week … just the way it all ended, coming back and then winning on the last hole, the last event that I’m going to play, it just was a pretty cool ending.”

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