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Woods: Lots of birdies needed

Sky Sports logo Sky Sports 16/8/2019

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Tiger Woods faces an uphill battle to extend his PGA Tour season after failing to make the most of a strong start to the BMW Championship.

The former world No 1 birdied two of his opening three holes at Medinah on Thursday but was unable to continue that run, settling for a one-under 71 to leave him six strokes off the pace.

a man wearing a blue hat: Tiger Woods sits six strokes off the pace at the BMW Championship © Getty Tiger Woods sits six strokes off the pace at the BMW Championship Woods started the week 38th in the FedExCup standings after withdrawing mid-tournament from the Northern Trust last week with a 'mild oblique strain', with the 43-year-old looking to break into the top 30 and qualify for the season-ending Tour Championship.

The 43-year-old is projected to require a top-11 finish to move inside the cut-off mark to reach East Lake, where he registered his landmark 80th PGA Tour title in 2018, but sits a long way outside that target after the opening round in Illinois.

a man wearing a hat: Horschel also opened with a one-under 71 © Getty Horschel also opened with a one-under 71 "I'm going to have to make a lot of birdies," Woods said.

"There's so many guys under par that I'm going to have to shoot some low rounds just to get back in it.

"I made too many little mistakes around the greens.

I had a three-putt and had a couple up-and-downs I should have made and missed a few putts I have been making, and I need to make them.

"The whole field seems like it's under par, and we just didn't do it today. I had my opportunities to shoot between three and five under par today."

a man wearing a blue shirt: Woods is looking to win the FedExCup for a third time © Getty Woods is looking to win the FedExCup for a third time Playing alongside former FedExCup champion Billy Horschel and C.T Pan, Woods recovered from finding a bunker off the opening tee to set up a five-foot birdie and holed a 40-footer at the third.

Woods failed to get up and down from a greenside bunker at the fourth but made amends with a two-putt birdie at the par-five next, only to card a three-putt bogey at the ninth to turn in 35.

The world No 6 didn't take advantage of the par-five 10th but converted a close-range birdie at the next, before rolling in a 10-footer to scramble a par at the 15th after a poor chip from the back of the green.

Woods missed the 16th green in regulation on his way to a third bogey of the day, with the Masters champion then draining an eight-foot par-save at the 17th and finishing with a two-putt par.

a man wearing a hat: Woods' opening round is only his 14th competitive round since winning the Masters in April © Getty Woods' opening round is only his 14th competitive round since winning the Masters in April "It [Woods' game] is just not sharp," Woods added. "I'm trying to make changes in my swing, and it's just not quite there yet.

It's just one of those things. I need reps, and I just haven't really put in a lot of reps.

"I didn't feel any tightness in my oblique at all, so that was a positive, and I just need to clean up my rounds and get going."

Watch the BMW Championship throughout the week live on Sky Sports. Live coverage continues on Friday with Featured Groups from 3pm via the red button on Sky Sports Golf.

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