Hideki Matsuyama. Pic: Getty Images
Aug 28: Tiger Woods has three more days at the BMW Championship to rise into top-four and stay on for Tour Championship he won two years ago. The 15-time Major champion seemed alright at even par through 15 holes at the tough Olympia Fields, before he was hit by a hat-trick of bogeys that saw him fall to three-over for the day and six behind the leader, Hideki Matsuyama at Olympia Fields in Illinois.
Scoring was tough on the opening day, when only three players broke par as the greens were firm and playing really tough and there were no bogey free rounds.
Woods shot a 73 which included a bogey on his last three holes for a share of 35th place. Woods said, “The course was fine. The course is in perfect shape. Not the way I wanted to finish.”
The latest projections, which change with each round, indicate Woods needs a tied-third or better to advance to the TOUR Championship
FedExCup leader and World No. 1 Dustin Johnson opened with a 1-over 71, ending a streak of 12 straight rounds in the 60s to lie four back of Matsuyama.
Rory McIlroy was among 10 players who finished at 70 and felt the day was a success. He hasn’t registered a top 10 since golf returned from the coronavirus shutdown in June, and he conceded to being lethargic without fan energy.
The 28-year-old Asian star Matsuyama holed a massive 67-foot birdie putt on his last hole to jump move in to the lead in the penultimate event of the FedExCup Playoffs.
Matsuyama has been without a win for three years – he won Hero World Challenge in December 2016 and then twice, including a WGC and Phoenix Open in 2017, but has not tasted a win since.
After starting on 10th, and turning in one-over, he had four birdies on his inward nine, draining some long putts – 11 feet on first and a 21-footer on seventh. Then came the big one on ninth for a 3-under 67.
Matsuyama’s weapon of the day was his putter even as he found only six fairways. Matsuyama also overcame three bogeys against two birdies for an outward 36 on a day.
Matsuyama’s form entering this week has been steady with top-30 finishes in his last three starts.