The First Look: BMW Championship

The First Look: BMW Championship
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The top 70 in the FedExCup standings head to Olympia Fields Country Club for the penultimate event of the FedExCup Playoffs.

As of Saturday, the field will feature 69 of the TOUR’s top 70 players, including two-time FedExCup champions Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy.

Those on the outside looking in will jockey for their spot in the BMW Championship this weekend in THE NORTHERN TRUST at TPC Boston.

FIELD NOTES: Woods has committed to the BMW Championship as he looks to make another run at the FedExCup. He is a five-time winner of the BMW Championship, including twice in the FedExCup era. He went on to win the Cup both times that he won the BMW (2007, ’09)… The PGA TOUR’s latest member of the ‘59’ club, Scottie Scheffler, will make his debut at the BMW Championship. Scheffler competed at Olympia Fields in the 2012 Junior Ryder Cup… Dustin Johnson – who nearly shot 59 the same day as Scheffler but ended with a 60 – is also a two-time winner at the BMW Championship. He’s looking for more magic this week as he takes a run at his first FedExCup… Justin Thomas leads the FedExCup standings (as of Aug. 22) and not only will defend his BMW Championship title, but is gunning for his second FedExCup in four seasons… Other past BMW Championship winners who will be at Olympia Fields include Marc Leishman (2017), Jason Day (2015), Billy Horschel (2014), and McIlroy (2012)… Justin Rose finished T5 in the 2003 U.S. Open hosted at Olympia Fields, but save for a magical weekend at THE NORTHERN TRUST, he’ll fall short of earning a spot to the BMW Championship. 

FEDEXCUP: Winner receives 1,500 FedExCup points.

COURSE: Olympia Fields Country Club (North Course), par-70, 7,366 yards. Located about 35 minutes from Chicago, this 36-hole facility has a long history. It hosted the Western Open five times, and is a storied major championship venue. Most recently on the men’s side it hosted the 2003 U.S. Open (won by past FedExCup champion Jim Furyk) while the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship came to the club in 2017 (Danielle Kang was the winner). Established in 1915, the North Course was designed by Willie Park Jr. It will play as a brute to the best golfers in the world with one par-3 longer than 250 yards and two par-5’s (including the opening hole) playing longer than 600 yards.

STORYLINES: The BMW Championship marks the final opportunity to earn a spot in the 30-man Playoffs finale at East Lake. This is the second year that the No. 1 seed in the FedExCup standings will start the TOUR Championship at 10 under par and with a two-shot lead before the tournament starts. That No. 1 seed will be determined at the conclusion of the BMW Championship … Xinjun Zhang, who missed the cut at THE NORTHERN TRUST, will wait to see his fate. He came into the week on the bubble for the BMW Championship, ranked 70th in the FedExCup standings.    

72-HOLE RECORD: 261, Marc Leishman (2017). *At Olympia Fields – 272, Jim Furyk (2003)

18-HOLE RECORD: 59, Jim Furyk, (2nd round, 2013) *At Olympia Fields – 63, Vijay Singh (2nd round, 2003)  

LAST TIME: Justin Thomas captured his 10th PGA TOUR title at the 2019 BMW Championship, contested at Medinah Country Club. A six-shot lead early Sunday was reduced to just two as Thomas made the turn, but a birdie on the 72nd hole put a bow on a three-shot victory over Patrick Cantlay. Thomas came into Sunday after firing a tournament-low 61 in the third round and headed into the TOUR Championship as tops in the FedExCup standings. Hideki Matsuyama finished third at 20 under, but still five shots back of Thomas’ 25-under winning total. Tony Finau, Jon Rahm, and past FedExCup champion Brandt Snedeker rounded out the top five.


HOW TO FOLLOW

Television: Thursday-Friday, 3 p.m.-7 p.m. ET (Golf Channel). Saturday, 12 p.m.-3 p.m. (Golf Channel), 3 p.m.-6 p.m. (NBC). Sunday, 1 p.m.-3 p.m. (Golf Channel), 3 p.m.-7 p.m. (NBC).

PGA TOUR LIVEThursday-Friday 10:10 a.m.-7 p.m. (Featured Groups). Saturday, 8:15 a.m.-3 p.m. (Featured Groups), 3 p.m.-6 p.m. (Featured Holes). Sunday, 9:15 a.m.-3 p.m. (Featured Groups), 3 p.m.-7 p.m. (Featured Holes). 

Radio: Thursday-Friday, 1 p.m.-7 p.m. Saturday, 1 p.m.-6 p.m. Sunday, 2 p.m.-7 p.m. (PGA TOUR Radio on SiriusXM and PGATOUR.com/liveaudio).

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Source: PGA tour

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