After a week off, the PGA Tour is back for the BMW Championship in Chicago. The event will feature the top 70 players in the FedEx Cup standings who will jockey for a spot in the top 30 and next week's Tour Championship. Field and tee times
Dustin Johnson beat out Paul Casey for the 2016 BMW Championship at Crooked Stick. Johnson fired four consecutive rounds of 68 or better, including a course record 63 to win by three shots.
Conway Farms last hosted the BMW in 2015 when Jason Day blew away the field shooting opening rounds of 61-63 and cruising to a six shot win. The win capped off a stretch of dominant golf from the Aussie who won four times in six starts, ascending to the top spot in the rankings.
The 1991 Tom Fazio design holds a special place in my heart as it was the first job I ever had. I was a looper from the age of 12-15 at the course and it was part of my falling deep in love with the sport. One of the most memorable rounds there was in 2001 when I looped for Luke Donald two weeks before he turned professional.
The 7200 yard par 71 course weaves its way through three distinct landscapes, prairie, woodlands, and wetlands. It's unique landscapes are rare for Chicago which is filled with parkland style golf. Wind can play a factor with the open prairie holes and in 2015 driving distance was a major advantage. Of the top nine finishers in 2015, seven finished inside the top 11 in driving distance.
Storylines to watch
A spot in the top 5
There is some separation in the FEC Standings with Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas and Dustin Johnson over 1600 points clear of 4th place Hideki Matsuyama. Despite the large lead, anyone who enters the Tour Championship in the top 5 of the standings will control their own destiny at East Lake. Currently, Jon Rahm holds the 5th spot with Rickie Fowler, Marc Leishman, Paul Casey, Brooks Koepka and Pat Perez rounding out the top 10. Full standings
30 is the new 20
The other race to watch is the top 30 bubble. Besides earning a spot in the Tour Championship, it assures a spot in all 4 major championships and WGC Events during the 2017-2018 season. The top 19 players in the standings have locked up their spots in the top 30 leaving 11 spots for the taking. The past two years, four players have been able to play their way into the top 30 from outside.
With the Tour at Conway Farms, Paulie has used some local knowledge to formulate his picks. Check them out here.
On the Web
The Web.com Tour Finals also continue this week in Boise, Idaho for the Albertson's Open. Three of the 25 PGA Tour cards were claimed in the first of four events. Peter Uihlein, Ryan Armour and Tom Lovelady earning cards in Columbus. The trio will now jostle with the top 25 players from the Web.com Tour's regular season money list for a better priority ranking. Here's an updated look at the Web.com Tour Finals Standings heading into Boise.
The Final Stand
The Mackenzie Tour (PGA Tour Canada) wraps up their season this week at the Freedom 55 Championship. The top 5 players will earn a Web.com Tour Card and the top 10 earn a spot into the final stage of Web.com Tour Q-School. A spot in the final stage of Q-School assures at least conditional status on the Web.com for 2018. Currently leading the race is Jordan Spieth's roommate and former teammate Kramer Hickok. Hickok has a commanding $33k lead over former Alabama star Robbie Shelton. Rounding out the top 5 are Johnny Ruiz, Patrick Newcomb and Lee McCoy. Meanwhile battling it out for a valuable spot in the top 10 is former USC star Rico Hoey who currently sits in 11th. Hoey is just over $1k out of 10th which is held by Mark Blakefield. Full Order of Merit.
The LPGA heads to France for their final major of the year.
The European Tour heads to the Netherlands for the KLM Open.
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