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.
After Sunday’s final round was postponed due to a few inches of rain, the BMW Championship is set to come to a conclusion on Monday morning.
Tiger Woods enters his final round at 12-under par, five shots back from leader Justin Rose. The 14-time major champion entered the week ranked 25th in the FedExCup standings, and barring a disastrous round, he should remain inside the top 30 to qualify for the Tour Championship next week, the PGA Tour season’s final event.
Tiger tees off at 8:40 a.m. ET alongside Ryder Cup teammate Webb Simpson and Scott Piercy. Follow his final round shot-by-shot.
Thoughts at the turn
If you’re experiencing déjà vu, you aren’t the only one. Tiger’s doing exactly what he needs to stay in contention during a final round. He got off to a hot start and moved up the leaderboard, was accurate off the tee, dialed in with approach shots and made putts when needed. It might all be just a little too late, or not enough, as the leaders keep on responding with birdies of their own. Barring a colossal collapse on the back, Tiger will earn a top 10, maybe top 5 finish en route to qualifying for the Tour Championship, the final event in the FedExCup playoffs next week. If he keeps up this form, he’ll be dangerous two weeks from now in Paris at the Ryder Cup.
Hole 9 – Par 5
Tiger needs to score here to make a move here on the first par 5 and put some pressure on the leaders. Subtle club twirl after the driver here on No. 9 for Tiger. His shot off the tee is down the left-center of the fairway and looks like it plugs. From around 250 yards out Tiger’s approach just climbs onto the green to set up an eagle putt. He’s sitting on the border of the fringe and green, with the PGA Tour’s shot tracker saying he’s 71 feet from the back-left pin. This one will move up and then down a slope, with a strong break from left-to-right. He tried to lag this one close but he goes long and left. From around five feet he knocks in the birdie putt to move to 4-under thru 9 (16-under for the tournament).
Elsewhere on the course, Keegan Bradley’s birdie on No. 6 was a real cliffhanger. Literally. Look at this!
Hole 8 – Par 3
Far right pin guarded by a bunker here on the 212 yard par 3. Tiger hits it to the middle of the green, a little low and pretty well left of the cup. Safe shot, should be an easy two-putt par. This one wasn’t easy, and Tiger didn’t make it any easier. He hits the putt a little too hard and it rolls long and right. Got some meat left on the bone here, and with around six feet to save par Tiger buries the putt. 3-under thru 8 (15-under for the tournament).
Leaderboard update: 14 players are within three shots of Justin Rose at 17-under. Those players include the likes of: Tiger, Rory McIlroy, Patrick Reed, Justin Thomas, Tommy Fleetwood, Rickie Fowler, Xander Schauffele, Webb Simpson and Hideki Matsuyama. Not a bad Monday.
Hole 7 – Par 4
3-wood here for Tiger and this one is right down the middle. TW’s on cruise control so far off the tee. He hasn’t missed a fairway yet. Flip wedge from 114 yards and he stared this one down for good reason. He’s just short of the hole around five feet away. Useful. From six feet away he never gave it a chance. Disappointing par. 3-under thru 7 (15-under for the tournament).
Hole 6 – Par 4
Tiger finds the fairway again on No. 6, but his approach shot came up short of the green. No matter, says the Big Cat, who holes out his chip for consecutive birdies. 3-under thru 6 (15-under for the tournament).
Leaderboard update: Justin Rose re-claimed the lead, holing out off the green to move back to 17-under. Rory McIlroy and Xander Schauffele are T2 at 16-under, followed by Tiger, Tommy Fleetwood, Rickie Fowler and Keegan Bradley T4 at 15-under.
Hole 5 – Par 3
Tiger’s tee shot on the par 3 fifth hole is pretty good, inside 20 feet but short and right of the back-left pin. Nailed it. He’s lipped out so many birdie putts this year but this one falls. 2-under thru 5 (14-under for the tournament).
Hole 4 – Par 4
Tiger smoked this driver 311 yards down the right side of the fairway. He’ll have just over 130 yards to the green from there. He’s up on the green, but he’s got over 40 feet for birdie left with this putt. He almost jars the putt but it just misses. Another tap-in par. 1-under thru 4 (13-under for the tournament).
Leaderboard update: Justin Rose teed off in the lead at 17-under, but bogeyed the first. We know have a four-way tie at 16-under.
Hole 3 – Par 4
Another fairway here for TW, but this one is down the left side. Just another simple wedge in from here, but he comes up short of the green in the rough. He avoided a bunker and should be able to get up-and-down for par from there. Tiger’s chip gets to about three feet from the hole and he converts the par save. 1-under thru 3 (13-under for the tournament).
Hole 2 – Par 4
Another driver on No. 2 and this is even better than the last hole: 305 yards down the right side of the fairway. He played this one just about perfect, and he’ll have a flip wedge in to the green with a great angle. Useful approach shot here, he’s inside 10 feet with another look at birdie. This one misses to the left. Tap-in par. 1-under thru 2 (13-under for the tournament).
Hole 1 – Par 4
And we’re off. Tiger pulls driver on No. 1 and he’s safe in the soaked fairway down the right side. His approach finds the green and comes to rest just over 10 feet from the hole. Bang! He knocks in the putt for birdie at No. 1. 1-under thru 1 (13-under for the tournament).
Let’s say the weather gets bad again today and they can’t finish the final round. Per PGA Tour regulations, half the field must play 18 holes on Monday if there is to be a Tuesday finish. If half the field does not complete the final round, the tournament would become official after 54 holes. So … let’s hope half the field plays 18 today.