Conners is set up for big finish at PGA's BMW Championship


Justin Thomas opened with five straight birdies, added a pair of eagles and shattered the course record at soft, vulnerable Medinah with an 11-under 61 on Saturday to take a six-shot lead into the final round of the BMW Championship.

However, while Matsuyama faltered with a bogey-heavy 73 to drop out of contention at 11-under, Thomas signed for a 61 - which included two eagles and could have been even lower but for a dropped shot at the par-four sixth.

Thomas was at 21-under 195, six shots clear of Tony Finau (68) and Patrick Cantlay (67). That's what he's thinking about Sunday. He has a clear path to his first victory since the Bridgestone Invitational last August, along with the lead going into the Tour Championship next week and the chase for a $15 million prize.

Tiger Woods kept his hopes of qualifying for next week's Tour Championship alive by shooting a 5-under-par 67 on Saturday during the third round of the BMW Championship in Medinah, Ill.

Only the top 30 players in the FedEx Cup standings will advance to the Tour Championship and Woods - who is the defending champion - is projected to finish 40th.

Two-time FedEx Cup champion Woods climbed the leaderboard thanks a to a bogey-free 67, which left him in a tie for 31st. "That was really impressive", said Finau, who played with Thomas.

"I'm going to have to have a great weekend and make a lot of birdies and post some rounds in the mid-60s to give myself a chance at it", said the 43-year-old. That was matched twice Thursday by Thomas and Jason Kokrak.

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Scott is tied-18 after a third consecutive under-par round, but at nine-under and 12 shots back, is well out of the running.

For others, plenty is at stake.

Matsuyama won four times on the Japan Golf Tour as a rookie after he graduated from college, and then won the Memorial Tournament in 2014 and narrowly got into the FedEx Cup finale. He will captain the American team at the Presidents Cup, which will be played in Australia in December, but did not qualify for the team on points.

Hideki Matsuyama never has missed the Tour Championship since his first full year on the PGA Tour.

Starting times have been moved up because of more rain in the forecast.

Woodland's 64 had been the second-best round ever at Medinah, but only for a few hours thanks to Thomas.