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The 2014 BMW Championship is led by Gary Woodland, Jordan Spieth & Rory McIlroy after round one.

Weather: Partly cloudy with a high of 71 degrees. Winds N/NE 6-12 mph. Play was suspended for the day at 5:50 p.m. due to a dangerous situation with nine players still on the course. Play will resume at 11:00 a.m. on Friday.

First-Round Leaderboard

Gary Woodland 67 (-3)
Jordan Spieth 67 (-3)
Rory McIlroy 67 (-3)
Nine players at 68 (-2)

FedExCup and the BMW Championship

  • The top 125 players on the final PGA TOUR Season FedExCup points list (following the Wyndham Championship) qualified for The Barclays.
  • The top 100 players on the FedExCup points list following The Barclays qualified for the Deutsche Bank Championship.
  • The top 70 players on the FedExCup points list after the Deutsche Bank Championship advanced to the BMW Championship, contested this week at Conway Farms GC.
  • Each playoff event offers 2,500 FedExCup points to the winner.
  • The top 30 players following the BMW Championship will qualify for the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola. Prior to the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola, a points reset will take place, giving all players in the field a mathematical opportunity to win the FedExCup title. The top five players control their own destiny and would claim the FedExCup with a victory at East Lake.

The top five

The top five in the FedExCup Playoff standings is the goal for players after the BMW Championship is played and the 70-man field has been trimmed to 30. The top five in the standings entering the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola will control their own destiny and will win the FedExCup with a victory at East Lake GC. Here’s a look at the top five headed into this week’s BMW Championship.

Current top five:

FEC Rank / Player / FedExCup Points / Wins/ Top 10 FEC points behind
1 Chris Kirk 4,154 2 4 –
2 Rory McIlroy 3,335 3 10 819
3 Hunter Mahan 3,311 1 6 843
4 Jimmy Walker 2,823 3 10 1,331
5 Matt Kuchar 2,618 1 11 1,536

First-Round Leader Statistics

Since 2000, the first-round leader/co-leader has won five of 14 times at the BMW Championship, most recently Rory McIlroy in 2012 and Justin Rose in 2011.

The first-round leader/co-leader has gone on to win 10 of 42 stroke-play events in 2014, most recently Camilo Villegas at the Wyndham Championship three weeks ago.

Jordan Spieth (T1)

Jordan Spieth, who owns a three-way share of the lead through 18 holes at 3-under-par 67, is looking for his first top-10 finish since a T7 at the John Deere Classic in July.

Spieth enters this week ninth in the FedExCup standings, with seven top-10 finishes, including a T2 at the Masters Tournament and a T4 at THE PLAYERS.

Last year, Spieth became the youngest player to qualify for the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola at the age of 20 and finished seventh in the FedExCup standings on the strength of a T4 at the Deutsche Bank Championship and a T2 at the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola.

Gary Woodland (T1)

After qualifying for the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola for the first time in 2013, Gary Woodland is one of the players on the TOUR Championship bubble, currently 29th in the standings. He helped his cause with a 3-under-par 67 to grab a three-way share of the lead, thanks to hitting 15 of 18 Greens in Regulation (83.3 percent) and averaging 343.0 yards off the tee to lead the field (along with Russell Henley).

Rory McIlroy (T1)

A stretch of four birdies in five holes (17, 1, 2, 3) pushed Rory McIlroy to 5-under-par through 15 holes. Despite bogeys on two of his final three holes, he holds a share of the first-round lead at 3-under-par 67.

Currently second in the FedExCup standings behind Hunter Mahan, McIlroy is seeking his fourth PGA TOUR win of 2013-14 and his second career BMW Championship title (2012). McIlroy has nine career wins, including three straight starts in July-August (The Open Championship, World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational, PGA Championship).

Nine-time winner McIlroy will be 25 years, 4 days, 3 months on Sunday of the final round at the BMW Championship. For comparison sake, Tiger Woods won his 10th event (1999 BMW Championship) at the age of 23 years, 6 months, 4 days while Phil Mickelson won his 10th event (1997 Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MasterCard) at the age of 26 years, 9 months, 7 days.

Since 2003, just five different players have won four or more times in a season, including McIlroy in 2012.

2013 5 Tiger Woods
2012 4 Rory McIlroy
2009 6 Tiger Woods
2008 4 Tiger Woods
2007 7 Tiger Woods
2006 8 Tiger Woods
2005 6 Tiger Woods
2005 4 Vijay Singh
2005 4 Phil Mickelson
2004 9 Vijay Singh
2003 5 Tiger Woods
2005 4 Davis Love III
2005 4 Vijay Singh

Miscellaneous Notes

Defending FedExCup champion Henrik Stenson is T4 with one hole remaining. He sits 55th in the FedExCup standings and is projected to need a solo fourth-place finish to move into the top 30 and have the opportunity to defend his TOUR Championship title next.

After a T7 last week at the Deutsche Bank Championship, U.S. Open and The PLAYERS champion Martin Kaymer sits T4 after a 2-under-par 68.

Billy Horschel, who finished T2 last week at the Deutsche Bank Championship for his first top 10 since a T6 at the FedEx St. Jude Classic in early June, sits T4 after posting a 2-under-par 68.

Just two of 54 players attempting to drive the green (playing 353 yards on Thursday) on No. 1 were successful, Charley Hoffman (birdie) and Ryan Palmer (eagle). Palmer sank a putt from 28 feet for his eagle. Morgan Hoffmann and John Senden both eagled the first hole from the fringe.

Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama, currently 30th in the FedExCup standings, is looking to become just the second native of Japan (Ryuji Imada/2008) to qualify for the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola in the FedExCup era.

Four of the six winners on the fall segment of the 2013-14 PGA TOUR Season are currently inside the top 30: Chris Kirk (1); Jimmy Walker (4); Webb Simpson (19); and Dustin Johnson (22). Just outside the top 30 are Harris English (31) and Ryan Moore (34).

Fifteen different players under the age of 30 have wins on the PGA TOUR this season, accounting for a total of 20 victories. Last week’s Deutsche Bank Championship winner Chris Kirk was the first player under the age of 30 to win a FedExCup Playoff event since Rory McIlroy at the 2012 BMW Championship.

In Rory McIlroy’s last five starts on the PGA TOUR, he has led the field in the Driving Distance category; The Open Championship (327.8), WGC-Bridgestone Invitational (334.8), PGA Championship (315.6), The Barclays (303.8) and Deutsche Bank Championship (304.1).

Hunter Mahan is the only player to have never missed a start in the FedExCup Playoffs (31 overall).

In the five previous years (2009-2013) with the current FedExCup points system, a total of 13 players have played their way into the top 30 at the BMW Championship, including Luke Donald and Nick Watney in 2013.

Chesson Hadley, the lone rookie still competing in the FedExCup Playoffs (57th), sits T4 after the first round. Prior to his T9 last week at the Deutsche Bank Championship, Hadley had missed 10 of 11 cuts. Only six rookies have advanced all the way to the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola in the FedExCup era, with all six going on to win PGA TOUR Rookie of the Year.

2013 – Jordan Spieth/7th
2012 – John Huh/29th
2011 – Keegan Bradley/20th
2009 – Marc Leishman/20th
2008 – Andres Romero/28th
2007 – Brandt Snedeker/20th

Miscellaneous FedExCup Notes

Three players have made it to the TOUR Championship the first seven years of the FedExCup. Here’s their year-by-year FedExCup finish and how they stand entering the BMW Chajmpionship:

Name 2007  2008  2009  2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 Current FEC
Steve Stricker 2nd 14th 3rd 7th 18th 20th 3rd 116th – Eliminated
Phil Mickelson 3rd 7th 2nd 13th 15th 5th 9th 56th
Hunter Mahan 15th 18th 27th 18th 7th 19th 20th 3rd
Top-10-finishes leaders (FedExCup Playoffs):
Name Top 10s
Jim Furyk 13
Steve Stricker 13
Camilo Villegas 10
Phil Mickelson 10
Tiger Woods 10
Most rounds in the 60s in the Playoffs: 2007 200809 2010 2011 2012 2013 Total
Name Sub-70s
Steve Stricker 62
Jim Furyk 57
Adam Scott 56
Phil Mickelson 54
Hunter Mahan 52
Most rounds at par or better in the Playoffs: 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 Total
Name Par-or-Better
Jim Furyk 89
Steve Stricker 80
Phil Mickelson 81
Hunter Mahan 74
Past FedExCup Champions Remaining in 2014 FedExCup Playoffs

Player Year Won Pre-BMW Rank

Jim Furyk 2010 No. 8
Bill Haas 2011 No. 17
Henrik Stenson 2013 No. 55

Bogey-free Rounds

R1: None

Scoring Averages at the par-71 Conway Farms GC:

Front 9 Back 9 Total Cumulative
Thursday TBD TBD TBD

Source: PGA TOUR

Author

Graham J Gordon, The Editor and Owner, GolfblogspotUK

The GolfblogspotUK website is owned and run by former Walker Cup player and European Tour card holder, Graham J Gordon, from Scotland, the Home of Golf. The owner is a golf fanatic who had to retire early from competitive tour play due to a back injury that required surgery. Graham wishes to share his knowledge and own experiences of the game with the GolfblogspotUK community and to receive your feedback on all aspects of the sport. Graham has been playing the game for over 20 years and received a great deal of pleasure from the sport. He has met several friends and visited many different places around the world, thanks to playing the great game of golf. Time to put a little back into the game to help others.

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