After a week off and a trimming of the field down to the Top 70 in the standings, The FedEx Cup Playoff series resumes as only two weeks and one ten million dollar prize remain.
Round Three of The FedEx Cup Playoffs tees off this week at Conway Farms Golf Club in Lake Forest, Illinois. After a week off in the schedule, the Top 70 players in The FedEx Cup Standings return to action here at The BMW Championship with their sights set on advancing into next week’s season finale, The Tour Championship, reserved for just the Top 30 in the standings. All 70 players are here in the field this week and of those players, 59 of them are ranked in the Top 100 in the world.
After rounds one and two, The FedEx Playoff Series has been whittled down to just the cream of the crop. These next two star studded weeks ought to be some of the best competitions we’ve seen all season. He who emerges with the most points after next week’s championship, will be crowned FedEx Cup Champion and this will go a long way in determining Player of The Year honors on The PGA Tour. Currently, Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth, and Justin Thomas are the favorites for this distinction.
The BMW Championship was formerly known as The Western Open. The Western Open began play in 1899, making it the third oldest golf tournament in the sport’s history, behind only The Open Championship and The U.S. Open. For over 50-years, this tournament has almost always been held in the Chicago area but this will only be its third time at Conway Farms. Zach Johnson was your champion here in 2013 and Jason Day, during the summer of his career, hoisted the trophy at Conway Farms in 2015.
The course is a Par 71 and is not terribly long at roughly 7200-yards. Tom Fazio designed Conway Farms with thoughts of emulating a Scottish Links style course. The only problem with this, as we saw this year at Royal Birkdale, if the wind doesn’t blow, the scores can get awful low. The weather looks to be great this week and conditions calm. The course should play firm and fast but the breeze figures to only be in the neighborhood of 10-miles per hour. Hit greens in regulation, scramble, make putts and birdies, and one ought to find themselves at the top of a very low scoring leaderboard.
Jordan Spieth (+671 Pinnacle) Number one in the points standings, the 2015 FedEx Cup Champion has finished 2nd in both rounds one and two of the playoffs so far. With three wins on the year, including a Major, a FedEx Cup title may make him the Player of The Year.
Dustin Johnson (+852 Bookmaker) Johnson is also in the running for Player of The Year honors but does not have a Major this season. He does have four wins, including three weeks ago at The Northern Trust. Johnson took 7th here at Conway Farms in 2015.
Justin Thomas (+1149 Pinnacle) Maybe the current favorite for Player of The Year, Thomas has five wins on the season, including a Major. He won Round 2, two weeks ago in Boston and took 13th here in his BMW debut in 2015.
Rickie Fowler (+1282 Bookmaker) Fowler is right there where he always is, ranking especially high but without a Major win to back it up. He was 20th at The Northern Trust, 13th in Boston, and took 4th here at The BMW in 2015. Fowler is currently 6th in The FedEx Cup Standings. A FedEx Cup title would give him just about everything except for that elusive first Major.
Jason Day (+1854 Bookmaker) Jason Day won here in 2015 and comes into this week ranking 28th in the standings. He is dangerously close to falling out of the Top 30 and missing next week but his play of late has been excellent, going 25-6-9-24 in his last four starts. In a late development, Jason Day has parted ways with long time friend and caddie, Colin Swatton. Swatton will remain Day’s swing coach but his college roommate, Luke Reardon will be on the bag this week.
Paul Casey (+1912 Pinnacle) Casey too has been on a tremendous roll, going 4-5-13-5-11 in his last five starts but like Rickie Fowler, Casey cannot seem to finish the job with a win. He was 23rd here in 2015 and did take 12th earlier this season on another Fazio design at The Wells Fargo Championship.
The Long Shots
Justin Rose (+3035 Bookmaker) Rosey hit a lull this Summer but has bounced back with two straight Top 10 finishes to open The FedEx Cup Playoffs. He could be peaking at just the right time, now 17th in the standings, and headed to The Tour Championship next week where he hasn’t finished worst than 6th in the last four trips.
Marc Leishman (+4450 Bookmaker) A pretty nice price on a guy that has had a phenomenal season, winning at Bay Hill and recently taking 6th at The Open Championship, 13th at The PGA, and 3rd two weeks ago at TPC Boston. This will be his first time playing Conway Farms.
Phil Mickelson (+7000 Bookmaker) Lefty is in a very interesting spot this week. He ranks 36th in the FedEx Cup Standings and is 15th in The President’s Cup Standings. He figures to be a Captain’s Pick but would like to get to The Tour Championship and make it an easy decision for Team Captain, Steve Stricker. Phil finished 6th last week in Boston and 32nd here in 2015.
Henrik Stenson (+2491 Pinnacle) Conway Farms has hosted the 3rd leg of The FedEx Cup Playoff Series’ BMW Championship twice. Once in 2015 and again back in 2013. Henrik Stenson finished 10th here in 2015 and 33rd in 2013, the year he went on to win The FedEx Cup. His Ball Striking and Greens in Regulation are as good as anybody in the world. His putting has improved tremendously. The one area in which he lacks a bit is Scrambling and that could get in his way this week but with the calm conditions in the forecast, he may not have to lean on this part of his game too much. He’s had two weeks off to rest and get ready for this final drive and prior to that he took 17th at The Northern Trust, won The Wyndham Championship, finished 13th at The PGA, 17th at The WGC Bridgestone, and 11th at The Open Championship. His current form is excellent, he knows this course, and he’s a past FedEx Cup Champion. I like a shot at him this week at nearly 25-to-1.
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