Furyk takes one-shot lead into final round at BMW

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LAKE FOREST, Ill. – While Jim Furyk wasn’t able to replicate yesterday’s record-tying 59 at Conway Farms Golf Club, he did do enough to stay out in front of the elite 70-man field assembled this week in Chicago. Here’s how things shape up heading into the final round of the BMW Championship, where Furyk holds a one-shot advantage:

Leaderboard: Jim Furyk (-13), Steve Stricker (-12), Brandt Snedeker (-11), Zach Johnson (-10), Tiger Woods (-9)

What it means: After becoming just the sixth man in PGA Tour history to shoot golf’s magic number, Furyk needed 10 more shots to make his way around Conway Farms Saturday. Still, a 2-under 69 was enough to give the former FedEx Cup champion a one-shot advantage after 54 holes, as Furyk eyes his first win in nearly three years.


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Round of the day: Playing amid benign conditions early Saturday morning, Matt Kuchar was able to surge up the leaderboard thanks to a bogey-free 61. The former Players champion carded five birdies on each side and did not make more than a 4 on any single hole, moving up 45 spots on the leaderboard in the process. Kuchar will now begin the final round tied for 16th, eight shots behind Furyk.

Best of the rest: Once again demonstrating that semi-retirement may be the way to go, Stricker carded a 7-under 64 Saturday to earn a spot in Sunday’s final pairing. His round was highlighted by a holed-out wedge for eagle at the par-4 15th hole, while he bounced back from his lone bogey of the day at No. 17 with a birdie on the home hole to fire the day’s second-lowest total.

Biggest disappointment: Following an opening-round 67, Adam Scott appeared poised to contend this week in Chicago, but after two consecutive mediocre rounds he appears headed for a middle-of-the-pack finish for the second event in a row. Saturday’s effort resulted in a 4-over 75 for the Aussie – a round that included six bogeys across Scott’s first 12 holes – and at 2-over 215, Scott is now tied for 41st and in danger of dropping out of the top five in the FedEx Cup standings heading to East Lake.

Main storyline heading into Sunday: Furyk remains the man of the week, as he has a chance to erase some of the disappointment of his recent string of near-misses on Tour. He’ll be alongside Stricker, still in search of his first win this year despite an incredibly consistent campaign, while world No. 1 Woods lurks four shots back, still with hopes of erasing Friday’s controversial two-shot penalty.

Shot of the day: Already in the midst of a good round, things got appreciably better for Hunter Mahan at the 208-yard, par-3 17th. It was there that the veteran carved a 5-iron that bounded off a greenside mound, onto the putting surface and into the cup for a hole-in-one that earned Mahan, among other things, a new car. A third-round 65 moved him into a tie for eighth after 54 holes.

Quote of the day: “I’ve holed out a few wedges over my career, but I don’t know if any of them slam-dunked like that.” – Stricker, describing his wedge shot from 99 yards on 15 that went in for an eagle.