Tiger Tracker: Woods off to best start of the week, 2 under at the turn

Tiger Woods is probably glad the BMW Championship is a no-cut event. After shooting rounds of 73 and 75 respectively at Olympia Fields, (...)

Tiger Tracker: Woods off to best start of the week, 2 under at the turn

Tiger Woods is probably glad the BMW Championship is a no-cut event.

After shooting rounds of 73 and 75 respectively at Olympia Fields, Woods sits T-55 at 8 over on the event entering Saturday, nine shots behind 36-hole leaders Patrick Cantlay and Rory McIlroy. Beginning the third round, Woods was projected to need at least a tie for third to advance to the Tour Championship.

Woods finished Friday 5-over 75. He was 3 over on the front nine followed by a rollercoaster back nine with two birdies and a string of four bogeys in a five-hole stretch from Nos. 12-16.

The 15-time major champion teed off his third round at 9:05 a.m. ET alongside reigning PGA Championship winner Collin Morikawa.

Follow Woods’ third round with shot-by-shot updates below.

BMW Championship: Leaderboard | Photos | Tee times, TV info

Hole 17 – Par 4

Tiger birdied this one Friday. Not today. Woods’ tee shot lands in the right rough in a small creek surrounded by tall grass. Woods had to take a drop and take his third shot from the right rough. The ball sails 205 yards to the far left rough. His fourth shot (for par) bounced over the green into the right greenside rough.

Hole 16 – Par 3

There’s some potential here. Woods’ drive sails 183 yards over the water feature and bunker to the right intermediate. A birdie might be rough as the ball sits 18 feet, 10 inches from the hole. Woods’ second shot moves 2 feet, 9 inches from the hole. His par putt is good.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 1 under thru 16 (7 over overall)

Hole 15 – Par 5

It’s the last par-5 of the day and Tiger still hasn’t found a fairway on the back nine. His tee shot travels 308 yards to the left rough. His second sails 164 yards puts him back on the fairway. Hey there, old friend. His approach finds the green, setting him up for another long putt of 23 feet, 8 inches. Ugh, so close. Woods’ birdie putt rolls past the cup on the right. Woods makes his second put from 11 inches — his ninth two-putt of the day.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 1 under thru 15 (7 over overall)

Hole 14 – Par 4

Woods has hit 5-of-10 on Saturday. Well, make that 5-of-11. Woods’ drive bounces under the ropes into the tree-line. From behind one of Olympia Fields’ thick trees, Woods gave a little too much. It sails over the green into the back-right rough. His third shot from the rough lands on the green and rolls past the hole. Woods make a 10-foot, 4-inch uphill putt for par.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 1 under thru 14 (7 over overall)

Hole 13 – Par 3

Okay, the Tiger from the front-nine shows up again on 13. Woods drives the ball 163 yards to land 12 feet behind the pin. Tiger’s carded two birdies in each of the first two rounds. This is a great opportunity to finally make No. 3 of the day. Ugh. Just like on No. 2, the ball lips out. Another two putt. Another par with a 3-foot putt.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 1 under thru 13 (7 over overall)

Hole 12 – Par 4

Well, he’s not by the ropes this time. Woods’ tee shot travels 229 yards to left intermediate. Woods doesn’t correct enough with his second shot. It lands in the front greenside bunker. Woods third shot saves the ball from the bunker and it rolls past the pin, setting up a 5-foot putt for par. It’s good. Onward.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 1 under thru 12 (7 over overall)

Hole 11 – Par 4

A third-straight missed fairway for Woods who lands in the left rough, 65 yards from the hole. He escapes the rough better than he did on 10, finding the green for another long putt. From 38 feet, Woods’ putt doesn’t have quite enough juice to reach the hole. He sinks his second putt from 17 inches for par.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 1 under thru 11 (7 over overall)

Hole 10 – Par 4

Another missed fairway. Woods’ drive travels 286 yards to the left rough. Woods makes his second shot behind an unfortunately placed tree and it doesn’t turn the way he wanted. It lands between the two front, greenside bunker 73 yards from the hole. With his third shot, Woods finds the green and sets himself up for a 13-foot, 6-inch downhill putt for par. No dice. Woods is going to have his first bogey of the day after a 3-foot putt.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 1 under thru 10 (7 over overall)

Hole 9 – Par 4

Woods drives his tee shot 337 yards into the right rough. He hasn’t missed a fairway in a while this round, but he doesn’t let that sink in. He’s in the zone. With his second shot, the ball sails from the rough onto the green, 12 feet, 8 inches from the hole, front-right of the pin. His birdie putt is just shy. Seventeen inches to be exact. He settles for another two-putt and remains 2 under at the turn.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 2 under thru 9 (6 over overall)

Hole 8 – Par 3

Woods’ first shot travels 222 yards and finds the green, landing nearly 50 feet shy of the pin. It’s gonna be a loooong putt if he’s capable of some heroics. Another two-putt if he’s lucky. His first putt is a good conservative putt, setting Woods up for a 4-foot par putt. Bingo.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 2 under thru 8 (6 over overall)

Hole 7 – Par 4

Woods’ drive sails 320 yards and finds the fairway. His approach from 142 yards finds the green, 30 feet, 7 inches out from the front-right pin. His first putt isn’t exactly what he was looking for. It lands short and to the right. Woods sinks his second putt from 2 feet. Another two-putt, another par.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 2 under thru 7 (6 over overall)

Hole 6 – Par 3

Woods tee shot sails 159 yards to find the green, but overshoots the hole to the back-left pin. From 30 feet, 6 inches, Woods’ first putt comes up short, setting him up for a 3-foot putt. It’s good. Another par.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 2 under thru 6 (6 over overall)

Hole 5 – Par 4

Announcers called this drive a “mis-hit”, but it still sailed 238 yards and found the fairway. His approach from 183 yards out make us wince. It sailed over the green and rolled down the hill behind the hole. A third-consecutive birdie seems unlikely. From the rough, back-right pin, Woods has a chance to save par as his third shot found the green and set him up for a 4-foot putt from the back-right pin. He sinks it.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 2 under thru 5 (6 over overall)

Hole 4 – Par 4

Smack! Woods finds third fairway of the day. It lands 88 yards from the hole. His approach is about as good as it can be. Finds the green and bounces backward, even closer to the hole. Two feet, 8 inches to be exact. Boom. Another birdie. Weekend Tiger is rollin’, fam.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 2 under thru 4 (6 over overall)

Hole 3 – Par 4

Another fairway found, even when driving the ball into the sun on No. 3. From 157 yards out, Woods’ approach is pretty solid, finding the green and 9 feet, 8 inches from the front-right pin. Another chance at a birdie. Let’s see how this putt goes. Nailed it. First birdie of the day. Moving on up the leaderboard.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 1 under thru 3 (7 over overall)

Hole 2 – Par 4

Woods misses the fairway bunkers on this one. His first shot finds the fairway, landing 144 yards from the hole. His second shot finds the green, setting Woods up for a potential 13-foot, 8-inch birdie putt. Remember he ended Friday with a 37-footer. The putt looked perfect until the last inch. It danced along the lip of the cup and stopped rolling on the other side of the opening. It’s a painful two-putt for Woods and another par. Ah, what might have been.

TIGER ON THE DAY: Even thru 2 (8 over overall)

Hole 1 – Par 5

Tiger’s first tee shot of the day lands in the left fairway bunker. Not the best tee shot this week. His shot from the bunker, 320 yards from the hole, makes it to the fairway, but just barely. Woods takes his third shot on the par-5 from 183 yards out. This shot isn’t any better. Along with a big chunk of the fairway and an, “Oh, you jackass,” from Woods, the ball lands in the rough, short of the greenside bunker. Ninety-one feet from the hole, Woods’ game shows a glimmer of hope as he finds the green and the ball rolls just past the hole to the front-right pin. He sinks the 5-foot putt for par.

TIGER ON THE DAY: Even thru 1 (8 over overall)

Source : Golf Week More   

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With Phil Mickelson, Ernie Els & Jim Furyk, the Champions Tour might be onto something

When was the last time you paid attention to the PGA Tour Champions before Phil Mickelson won his debut on the 50-and-over (...)

With Phil Mickelson, Ernie Els & Jim Furyk, the Champions Tour might be onto something
When was the last time you paid attention to the PGA Tour Champions before Phil Mickelson won his debut on the 50-and-over circuit earlier this week?

Was it when Jim Furyk won his debut on that tour earlier this month? When Ernie Els won in his third start on the tour in the pre-pandemic era of golf?

For too many golf fans, the PGA Tour Champions has been a tour they don’t think about at all. Yes, there is excellent competition on that tour, and there are some big names floating around the tour like Colin Montgomerie, Bernhard Langer and Fred Couples. But in the last decade, the PGA Tour Champions circuit hasn’t been a big drawing card for television ratings or in some cases on-course galleries.

The reasons for that are plenty, from top players sticking on the PGA Tour after they turn 50 to winning players on the senior tour who lack the household-name status for most golf fans to the burgeoning interest in the regular tour.

But now the senior tour has Mickelson, one of the game’s most popular players over the last three decades. What Mickelson brings to senior golf is something that the PGA Tour Champions has always fed on: star power.

In the early days of the Senior PGA Tour, there were excellent players such as Julius Boros, Roberto De Vicenzo and even all-time great Sam Snead. But it was when Arnold Palmer joined the tour in 1980 that the 50-and-over circuit took a step into the consciousness of most American golf fans.

Ten years later, it was Jack Nicklaus turning 50 that made fans take notice of the PGA Tour Champions. Then two years later, Lee Trevino added his enthusiasm to the senior tour. It seemed like every few years a senior rookie would come along and get fans focused on the senior circuit again.

Of course, not every superstar eligible for senior golf plays much on the PGA Tour Champions. While Lee Trevino started 396 times on the senior tour and Tom Watson played 211 times, Nicklaus played just 84 senior events after turning 50. Greg Norman played just 14 senior events, and they tended to be the senior major championships. Davis Love is 56 and has played just 21 senior events while playing more than 70 regular tour events in that time.

A talented group of senior rookies

But this current crop of 50-year-olds has something a little more going for them than some recent senior rookies. Els, Furyk and Mickelson are all major championship winners and all have golf pedigrees that go well beyond their major wins. Ryder Cups, Presidents Cups, World Golf Championship, domestic and international victories come with each golfer. They are, at 50, still more recognizable than many players on the regular tour, even though their consistent winning days are behind them.

That doesn’t mean Mickelson, Els and Furyk will play much senior golf. Els has played seven senior events this year and only two regular tour events. Mickelson said at the start of the year he was still focused on winning on the regular tour. Furyk won his senior debut this month, but has played 13 regular tour events before that this year.

There is an appeal to senior golf for players, as Mickelson pointed out. It was great to be back with many of the golfers he has played much of his career against, and the course was set up to be less penal than a regular tour course. Mickelson could spray his driver and still find fairways, something that is tougher to do on the regular tour.

And the presence of those three players alone might make for a pretty interesting U.S. Senior Open next July in Omaha.

Larry Bohannan is The Palm Springs Desert Sun golf writer, part of the USA Today Network. He can be reached at larry.bohannan@desertsun.com. Follow him on Facebook or on Twitter at Sun.@Larry_Bohannan. 

Source : Golf Week More   

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