SportsPulse: Golf insider Steve DiMeglio explains why Tiger Woods was an easy call for the Ryder Cup and how the U.S. has the deepest roster in decades, one that can win on foreign soil for first time since 1993.
Tiger Woods has some work to do Saturday entering Round 3 of the BMW Championship at Aronimink Golf Club outside Philadelphia.
Woods, in a group of eight players at 8 under par, began the day five shots behind Xander Schauffele in the penultimate event in the FedExCup playoffs.
Woods entered the week ranked 25th in the FedExCup standings and will need to stay close to remain inside the top 30 to qualify for the Tour Championship in two weeks, the PGA Tour season’s finale.
Woods teed off at 1 p.m. ET at with Ted Potter Jr. and Ryan Armour.
Because of overnight rain, the tournament moved tee times back 3 hours, 25 minutes and sent groups out in threesomes off both tees. Players will be allowed to lift, clean and place on the fairways. There are birdies to be made on moving day.
Hole 4 — par 4
An anxious Woods can’t will this tee shot, despite the body language, back on course. It finds the right rough, 292 yards down the fairway, 155 yards to the hole. Woods muscles his second shot out of the soggy rough and bounces it to the center of the green, but it’s a long way (35 feet) from the hole. The birdie putt was a beauty, missing by inches on the right for a tap-in par. 2 under through 4 (10 under for the tournament).
At the top of the leaderboard: Leader Xander Schauffele (-13) is on his way, and the pack is chasing. Rory McIlroy is 2 under through two to get to 11 under.
Hole 3 — par 4
Woods takes driver again off the tee and once again splits the fairway, 285 yards from the tee, 157 yards to the hole. The approach, with a wedge, gets a good hop at the edge of the green, and the rolls to within 12 feet below the hole. Another good look at birdie. Not to be this time; the putt slides by on the right. Par. 2 under through 3 (10 under for the tournament).
Hole 2 — par 4
Another fine tee shot, 294 yards to the center of the fairway, leaving 102 yards to the hole. Another solid approach 11 feet past the hole, although Tiger no doubt hoped to get get the ball to spin back toward the hole. The putt will be a bit downhill, but the greens are forgiving. Boom, and it’s a birdie-birdie start for Tiger. 2 under through 2 (10 under for the tournament).
Hole 1 — par 4
Tiger’s tee shot with driver finds the right side of the fairway. A good start. The approach, from 144 yards, lands on the soggy green and stops pin-high about 12 feet from the hole. The birdie putt finds the bottom of the cup. A good start indeed. 1 under through 1 (9 under for the tournament).