Tiger Woods and Chicago used to be a great recipe for winning. He won two PGA Championships at Medinah. He won the Western Open three times and the BMW Championship twice, all at Cog Hill.
But he's played the Windy City just twice since his last win in 2009, and neither time was memorable — a tie for 15th in 2010 that kept him from qualifying for the Tour Championship and an 0-3-1 record at Medinah last year in the Ryder Cup.
His next shot is at Conway Farms, a course in Lake Forest that Woods had never seen until the pro-am Wednesday at the BMW Championship.
"I normally don't work this hard in a pro-am, but I had to do a little bit of work because I wasn't out here yesterday," Woods said Wednesday.
Conway Farms becomes the third course in as many years to host the tournament. At a time when 70 players are trying to qualify for the 30-man field at the Tour Championship at East Lake (Ga.), some introductions are in order. A Western Golf Association official said half the field was practicing Monday, a large number compared with other events.
As for Woods?
He sent out caddie Joe LaCava to scout the course ahead of him.
"It helps that Joey has been out here a couple days getting the lines, and we were discussing a lot of it today," Woods said.
Woods has won five times this year, bringing his PGA Tour career total to 79 as he closes in on Sam Snead's record of 82. The BMW Championship is the third FedEx Cup playoff event. Henrik Stenson, coming off a win at the Deutsche Bank Championship, is No. 1 in the standings by a small margin.