The top-70 players on the FedEx Cup rankings head for Crooked Stick in Indiana this week. Jason Day is defending champion and U.S Ryder Cup captain Davis Love III will make three of his four wildcard picks following the tournament.
The BMW Championship is the third of the PGA Tour’s four FedEx Cup playoff events. The leading 30 players after this tournament will go on to contest The Tour Championship at East Lake. The leading player following that event will be FedEx Cup champion and will receive the $10 million bonus prize. There’s all to play for at the BMW Championship.
After winning last week’s Deutsche Bank Championship, Rory McIlroy has climbed to fourth on the FedEx Cup standings. Patrick Reed still leads the way with Jason Day in second and Dustin Johnson third.
Brooks Koepka is currently in 30th place on the list and those looking to move up and secure a place at East Lake include Louis Oosthuizen, Charl Schwartzel, Graeme McDowell, Justin Rose and Luke Donald.
With Davis Love III set to name three of his four Ryder Cup wildcard picks following this event, the battle for selection will also be worth watching at Crooked Stick. Those looking to impress will include Rickie Fowler, Bubba Watson, Matt Kuchar, Ryan Moore, Jason Dufner and Gary Woodland.
Up until 2007 this event was known as the Western Open and it has a long, distinguished history. The first Western Open was contested in 1899 and was won by Willie Smith. Since then, Walter Hagen, Ben Hogan, Sam Snead, Byron Nelson, Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Tom Watson, Nick Price and Tiger Woods have all been champions.
Last year, Jason Day took the title at Conway Farms in Illinois. The Australian picked up his fourth victory in the space of two months, winning by six from Daniel Berger. He opened with rounds of 61 and 63 to tie the PGA Tour scoring record for 36 holes. He eventually finished on 22-under.
This event returns to Crooked Stick in Indiana for the first time since 2012. The last time the competition visited this track, Rory McIlroy took the title. After his win last week in the Deutsche Bank, Rory has moved to fourth on the FedEx Cup standings and back to third on the Official World Golf Ranking. He’ll be looking to continue his good run in this event.
Built in the mid 1960s, Crooked Stick was Pete Dye’s first significant course design. He drew on influences from Donald Ross and Alister MacKenzie to transform a swathe of Indiana farmland into a highly challenging and complex layout.
It’s a course that has witnessed a number of significant events including the Solheim Cup of 2005 won by the USA. Back in 1991, John Daly won the USPGA Championship at Crooked Stick.
We could see some thunderstorms in Indiana later in the week so don’t be surprised if there are one or two weather delays during the tournament.
Venue: Crooked Stick CC, Carmel, Indiana
Date: Sep 8-11
Course stats: par 72, 7,516 yards
Purse: $8,500,000 Winner: $1,530,000
Defending Champion: Jason Day (-22)
Thursday 8 – Sky Sports 4 from 8pm
Friday 9 – Sky Sports 4 from 8pm
Saturday 10 – Sky Sports 4 from 6pm
Sunday 11 – Sky Sports 4 from 6pm
Rory McIlroy – He won in some style last week at TPC Boston and his putting looks to be much improved. He won at Crooked Stick last time this event was contested here in 2012.
Rory on how he became a champion:
Adam Scott – The Australian will take great positives into this event following a fine closing round of 65 in the Deutsche Bank last week. He’s a hugely powerful player and should cope well with this testing, lengthy layout. He was tied sixth here in 2012.
Dustin Johnson – Another man who finished strongly at TPC Boston, DJ was tied sixth with Adam Scott at Crooked Stick in 2012
Key hole: 18th. A great par 4 of 457 yards. A lake runs down the entire right side of the hole and a deep valley along the left. The green is large and sloping and protected by three challenging pot bunkers. This is a very daunting prospect for a player needing a par to take the title.