The top-70 players in the FedEx Cup head for Aronimink in Pennsylvania. Marc Leishman is defending champion in the BMW Championship and Bryson DeChambeau tops the standings.
BMW Championship Preview, TV Times
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 pick up $10 million.
Bryson DeChambeau leads the way by quite some margin after claiming victory in the first two FedEx Cup playoff events. Dustin Johnson is second, some 2,400 points behind with Justin Rose 3rd, Tony Finau in 4th and Justin Thomas 5th.
Currently on the bubble in 30th place is Gary Woodland. He’ll be looking for a good week in Philadelphia to secure a start at East Lake. Any of the players who made the field for the BMW could still make the Tour Championship and, theoretically, win the FedEx Cup.
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 at Conway Farms, Australia’s Marc Leishman finished at 23-under-par 261 to claim the victory. He broke the tournament scoring mark set by Tiger Woods in 2007.
Originally designed by renowned course architect Donald Ross back in 1928, the layout at Aronimink was remodelled by Ron Pritchard in 2000 and, more recently, the course underwent a $4 million project to restore some of the Ross features lost to time, including the return of some 100 bunkers.
At over 7,000 yards, it’s a long par 70 with just two par 5s and numerous long par 4s to contend with. Aronimink was the venue for the PGA Championship of 1962 won by Gary Player.
It’s not a track that will be overpowered by the PGA Tour’s finest. It’s a layout where avoiding mistakes will be as important as making birdies. It’s highly unlikely we’ll see a winning total of 23-under this year.
The weather has been pretty hot and will probably still be on Thursday, but rain looks to be moving in and it could be wet throughout the tournament.
Venue: Aronimink Golf Club, Pennsylvania
Date: Sep 6-9
Course stats: par 70, 7,237 yards
Defending champion: Marc Leishman (-23)
How to watch the BMW Championship
Thursday 6 – Sky Sports Golf from 7pm, featured groups on Sky Sports Golf from 4pm
Friday 7 – Sky Sports Golf from 7pm, featured groups on Sky Sports Golf from 4pm
Saturday 8 – Sky Sports Golf from 5pm
Sunday 9 – Sky Sports Golf from 5pm
Not a Sky Sports customer and want to watch the BMW Championship?
Players to watch:
Justin Rose – Runner-up in the Dell Technologies and runner-up in this event last year, Rose has been a winner around Aronimink in the past. He’s likely to contend again this time out.
Brooks Koepka – He’s keen to get to World Number 1 but Dustin Johnson has managed to successfully hold him off so far. He’s been playing great golf and could win every time he starts right now.
Phil Mickelson – Will look to build on an excellent final round at TPC Boston. His game seems to be in great shape and he’s finding more fairways.
Key hole: 17th. A 215-yard par 3 that plays downhill. There’s a steep bank short and left of the green and anything that just misses the surface could roll down into the lake. There could be big scoring swings on this hole.
Skills required: Long irons. The shortest par 4 on the course is 393 yards and three of the four par 3s measure over 200 yards. As such, the players will often find themselves firing long irons into the putting surfaces.