Tiger Woods makes it look easy with Dudsdread record 62 for a 7-stroke lead in BMW

September 13, 2009


Tiger Woods reacts as he watches after his tee shot on the ninth hole during the third round of the BMW Championship golf tournament in Lemont, Ill.

LEMONT, Ill. So this is what greatness looks like.

It's a man hitting 16 of 18 greens on a rugged course and breezy day, a man beating the field average by nearly nine shots, a man making eagle on a 610-yard hole, a man flirting with perfection and then saying of his swing: "You are never near the finished product."

Tiger Woods shot a 9-under 62 Saturday in the third round of the BMW Championship to break the Cog Hill record by one shot.

His best explanation for posting a pair of 31s on the Dubsdread course that gives him a seven-shot leading heading into Sunday?

"I had a lot of good numbers," he said.

Meaning, good yardages to the pin.

"He made it look very easy, that's for sure," playing partner Mark Wilson said. "It's tough when you walk away nine strokes worse than your playing partner and feel like you're happy about the round."

Brandt Snedeker and Australian Marc Leishman are tied for second at 9 under.

Woods sits at 16 under, meaning that unless a UFO lands Sunday and returns him to his true planet of origin, his 71st PGA Tour victory is in the bag.

"I have to do something spectacular," Snedeker said, "and he has to maybe have a heart attack out there."

Woods' 68-67-62 start means he will need to shoot 65 Sunday to equal the 72-hole Cog Hill tournament record.

Who owns it? Take a wild guess. Woods posted a 262 at the 2007 BMW.

"I've always felt comfortable playing this golf course," he said.

Woods' dominance makes it a bit uncomfortable for course officials, who know that low scores no matter who shoots them won't help their case to land a U.S. Open.

"I didn't think a 62 was possible," Cog Hill owner Frank Jemsek said. "I'm impressed and glad he played well, but overall we were hoping to make the course harder. But it's hard to stop that kind scoring when (Woods) can knock it on a 610-yard hole in two."

Perhaps it's a small consolation that Matt Kuchar, after shooting a third-round 66, said of Cog Hill: "God, I can't think of many courses that are tougher. If the USGA wants to set it up, they could make this as hard as any course in the country."

Cog Hill played to 7,441 yards on Saturday, 175 yards short of its official, post-Rees Jones renovation max.

Jones, perhaps, can take pride in the fact Woods keeps playing the first hole like a hack. He bogeyed it for the second straight day, again driving left into a fairway bunker.

But then it was sheer domination. Woods drained a 15-footer for birdie on No. 3, then flushed a 7-iron on the 187-yard sixth hole that left him just 3 feet from the cup.

He made another 3-footer for birdie on No. 8 and then went superhuman on the ninth, hammering home a 10-footer for eagle after a drive of 311 yards and an approach of 306.

The eagle got him to 11 under, one ahead of Leishman.

"After seeing what Marc was doing ahead of us," Woods said, "I figured that you had to get into double digits."

So, what, triple digits below par is too much to ask?

Woods' 62 is one off his career low on the PGA Tour. If he had not come up 3 inches short on a birdie try at the 16th, he would have matched that all-time best.

"It was a round that just kind of built upon itself," Woods said. "I kept hitting good shots and making good putts and, lo and behold, I ended up at 9 under par."


Associated Press