2014 BMW Championship Preview

Dates: September 1-7, 2014

Where: Cherry Hills Golf Club, Cherry Hills Village, Colo.

Par/Yards: 35-35–70/7,352 yards

Field: 69 (Dustin Johnson)

2013 champion: Zach Johnson

Purse: $8,000,000/$1,440,000 (winner)

FedExCup: Top 30 in FedExCup after BMW Championship advance to TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola

Format: 72-hole stroke-play

Twitter: @bmwchamps

A look at the 2013 BMW Championship

Zach Johnson overcame the third-round lead of Jim Furyk to win his 10th PGA TOUR title in a Monday finish at Conway Farms Golf Club outside Chicago. Johnson entered the fourth round trailing Furyk, who had posted just the sixth 59 in PGA TOUR history in the second round, by three shots. He responded with a bogey-free 65 en route to a 2-shot win over Nick Watney and three over Furyk. Johnson went on to play in the FedExCup Playoff finale, the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola for the fifth time in seven years, finishing fifth in the final standings.

Cherry Hills Golf Club

The 2014 BMW Championship will be conducted at Cherry Hills Golf Club in Englewood, Colo. The William Flynn designed course has hosted seven Major Championships and two U.S. Amateur Championships since it opened in 1922. Cherry Hills, Winged Foot Golf Club in Mamaroneck, N.Y., and Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, Minn., are the only courses to have hosted the U.S. Open, U.S. Senior Open, U.S. Amateur and U.S. Women’s Open. Past Champions at Cherry Hills include Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Phil Michelson.

A look to 2015

The BMW Championship returns in 2015 for the second time in three years to Conway Farms Golf Club in Lake Forest, Ill.

The BMW Championship and the FedExCup Playoffs

The BMW Championship is the third of four events of the PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup – with the entire season building toward this four-tournament stretch. There is more on the line than just the BMW Championship trophy – as players jockey for the coveted top-30 position to advance to the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola.

  • Each Playoff event offers 2,500 FedExCup points to the winner.
  • The top 125 players on the final PGA TOUR Season FedExCup points list qualified for The Barclays.
  • The top 100 players on the FedExCup points list following The Barclays qualified for the Deutsche Bank Championship, with 25 players having been eliminated following the first week of the Playoffs.
  • The top 70 on the points list following the Deutsche Bank Championship qualify for the BMW Championship, with 30 players having been eliminated from the Playoffs.
  • The top 30 on the points list following the BMW Championship qualify for the year-end TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola, with 40 players being eliminated from the Playoffs.
  • A points reset will take place following the BMW Championship giving all 30 players in the field at the TOUR Championship a mathematical chance to win the FedExCup. The top five players control their own destiny and can win the FedExCup with a victory at the TOUR Championship.

2014 FedExCup Playoff summaries

The Barclays

Beginning the final round of The Barclays one stroke behind co-leaders Jason Day and Jim Furyk, Hunter Mahan birdied four of his last six holes at Ridgewood CC to claim a two-stroke victory over Day, Stuart Appleby and Cameron Tringale. Mahan, who has qualified for the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola all seven years since the inception of the FedExCup in 2007, moved to No. 1 in the FedExCup standings, and currently sits third entering the BMW Championship.

Deutsche Bank Championship

Beginning the final round two strokes out of the lead, Chris Kirk posted a bogey-free, 5-under 66 to claim a two-stroke win over Geoff Ogilvy, Billy Horschel and third-round leader Russell Henley. Kirk, who moved to No. 1 in the FedExCup standings, played his last 37 holes in 14-under and with no bogeys. With the win, Kirk earned his third career PGA TOUR victory at the age of 29 years, 3 months and 24 days in his 114th career start on the PGA TOUR.

More on Chris Kirk:

  • Kirk becomes the sixth multiple winner of the 2013-2014 PGA TOUR Season, joining Rory McIlroy (3), Jimmy Walker (3), Patrick Reed (2), Martin Kaymer (2) and Bubba Watson (2).
  • Kirk claimed the eighth win on the PGA TOUR this season by a player to hail from the University of Georgia; Chris Kirk (2), Bubba Watson (2), Russell Henley, Harris English, Brendon Todd and Brian Harman.

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 EastLakeGC. 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

Current players on the top-30 bubble:

FEC Rank        Player

25                    Brendon Todd

26                    Stuart Appleby

27                    Justin Rose

28                    Keegan Bradley

29                    Gary Woodland

30                    Hideki Matsuyama

Six players inside the top 70 beginning the Deutsche Bank Championship were eliminated from the FedExCup Playoffs:

Name Pre-DBC DBC finish Post-DBC
Ryo Ishikawa 56th MC 72nd
Justin Hicks 58th MC 75th
Ben Martin 63rd MC 76th
Scott Langley 65th T65 77th
Shawn Stefani 67th 68th 83rd
Scott Brown 70th 77th 85th

Six players outside the top 70 beginning the Deutsche Bank Championship played their way into the BMW Championship, including Morgan Hoffman, who started the FedExCup Playoffs in 124th position:

Name Pre-DBC DBC finish Post-DBC
Billy Horschel

82nd

T2 20th
Geoff Ogilvy

100th

T2 24th
Chesson Hadley

84th

T9 57th
Carl Pettersson

93rd

T9 66th
Morgan Hoffmann

72nd

T35 68th
Ben Crane

78th

T29 69th

Chesson Hadley

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. Hadley, the lone rookie still competing in the FedExCup Playoffs, is currently 57th thanks to a T9 finish at the Deutsche Bank Championship.

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 Notes

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 (30 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.

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 after the Deutsche Bank Championship:

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

Miscellaneous FedExCup Notes

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

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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