LAKE FOREST, Ill. — Jim Furyk put his 59 behind him with a round that was 10 shots higher in the BMW Championship. All that mattered was having a chance to win, which made Saturday a success.
Furyk recovered from a sluggish start with three birdies in a five-hole stretch around the turn. A three-putt bogey from 30 feet on the par-5 18th forced him to settle for 2-under-par 69 and a one-shot lead over Steve Stricker.
“The goal was to go out and shoot a good number today, get myself in position to win this golf tournament,” Furyk said. “It could have been better out there. ... Obviously, I dropped that shot at 18, which I’m disappointed. It was probably one of the easier holes of the day. But I’ve got myself in good position, so rather than harp on the last hole, I’d probably tend to want to think about tomorrow and what I have to do to try to win a golf tournament.”
It was a far different finish from Friday, when Furyk hit a wedge to 3 feet for birdie on his final hole (No. 9) for 59, becoming only the sixth player in PGA Tour history to hit golf’s magic number.
He is at 13-under 200 and will be paired in the final group with longtime friend Stricker, who holed out for eagle from the 15th fairway and had 64.
Brandt Snedeker, tied with Furyk to start the third round, got up-and-down for birdie on No. 18 for 71 and is two shots behind.
And very much in the picture is Tiger Woods, who made it through the day without any drama.
Woods still objected to the two-shot penalty he was given after his second round for his ball moving ever so slightly as he tried to remove a small stick next to it.
He had 66 and is only four shots behind Furyk.
Furyk has 16 PGA Tour victories, but his last one came in the 2010 Tour Championship.
“It’s been three years,” Furyk said. “No one has to remind me of the Tour Championship in ’10, and as I’ve had some of the close calls last year, I definitely put some more pressure on myself,” he said. “That will be part of the mental game and the mental aspect of it tomorrow, to go out there and stay in the moment and just play golf and not really worry about it. I’ll play my best if I’m focused on the task at hand, not on the results.”