Tiger's bogey-free 67 his best round since June

MEDINAH, Ill. -- Tiger Woods played perhaps his best round of golf since winning the Masters, shooting a bogey-free 5-under-par 67 on Saturday at Medinah Country Club.

But he's still a long way from qualifying for next week's Tour Championship, meaning he'll need another low round on Sunday -- and probably some help.

For the first time since the third round of last year's BMW Championship at Aronimink, Woods played 18 holes without a bogey, twice saving pars with tricky putts and adding five birdies.

The 67 in the third round of the BMW Championship was his best since a final-round 67 at the Memorial Tournament in June.

"I felt good,'' he said. "Basically the only difference between today and the last couple of days [was that] 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 converted a nice up and down on 5. I did the little things that was able to keep the momentum going and made a couple of putts here and there.''

The chances of getting to Atlanta for the season-ending Tour Championship were enhanced only slightly, however, as the scoring at Medinah has been so low that few players are backing up.

Woods marveled at the fact that the course was yielding so many under-par scores. He won the 1999 and 2006 PGA Championships played here. "Who would have guessed that going into the week,'' Woods said of the fact that just one player was over par through 36 holes.

It means another low round is needed Sunday, perhaps better than the 67 he shot in the third round. A few players backing up would help, too. Woods began the week 38th in FedEx Cup points and was projected 43rd when he finished his round. The PGA Tour projected he would need a solo 11th-place finish or better in order to move into the top 30, but he might need to be higher than that.

"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 [FedEx] Cup and, on top of that, that's where the entire summer of work, the body of work [in 2018], finally culminated in a win.''

Woods captured his 80th PGA Tour title when he won at East Lake last year, shooting a final-round 71 to win by two strokes over Billy Horschel.

But Woods won't get a chance to defend that title without moving into the top 30.

In a big-picture sense, however, Woods has to be pleased. All the doom and gloom injury talk seems to have been put in the background with three relatively drama-less rounds. He hit 10 of 14 fairways and 12 of 18 greens, saving par every time he missed. Woods took just 27 putts for the day.

"The things I'm working on in my game definitely make me feel a little bit better,'' he said. "But it's just one of those things where some days I feel better than others, but it's also what I do with the golf club, too. Able to swing the club properly and the body feels better.''

The score was just Woods' third round in the 60s since he won the Masters and one off the lowest he shot this year, a 66 during the second round of the WGC-Mexico Championship.