Tiger Woods’ 2018-2019 PGA Tour season could come to an end this week at the 2019 BMW Championship.
Woods is playing the weekend in the no-cut, now-69-player event at Medinah Country Club — a place where he has won two PGA Championships — and he desperately needs to make a charge up the leaderboard. Woods entered the week 38th in FedEx Cup points, and he needs to get into the top 30 in the season-long standings at the end of the week to get into the season-ending Tour Championship next week at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta.
Through 36 holes, Woods has shot back-to-back 1-under 71s to sit 10 shots off the lead of Hideki Matsuyama heading into the final two rounds. Woods is currently projected to fall even further back of his current position, meaning he’s going in the opposite direction of where he needs to be going.
For Woods to have a chance of ending the week in the FedEx Cup standings top 30, he has to finish in at least the top 11 of the field. Woods entered Saturday six strokes off that figure.
“I’m going to have to have a great weekend and make a lot of birdies this week and post some rounds in the mid-60s to give myself a chance at it,” Woods said after his Friday round.
Woods admitted he’s pretty happy with his tee-to-green play, though his strokes gained off the tee and on the approach are not very good this week. However, what’s most lagging behind is his strokes gained putting, which is in the middle of the pack for the field.
“I’m trying to get a feel for the trajectory and shapes of shots,” Woods said, “and my feel has not been where I want it: hit the ball pin-high every time like I normally do. I certainly haven’t made as many putts. Putt well and I’ll shoot good scores. I haven’t done that.”
If Woods can shoot a weekend figure somewhere around 132, he has a chance to get to East Lake. This year, the Tour Championship format is different than the one he won last year, where there was a self-contained 72-hole tournament that helped determine the FedEx Cup winner. This year, and moving forward, the top 30 players will be assigned a starting score based on their position in the FedEx Cup standings heading into the season finale. The No. 1 seed will start at 10 under par, with the players ranked 26th through 30th starting 10 shots back on even par. The winner of this handicap tournament will be crowned the FedEx Cup champion and win $15 million.