Playoffs back into action at BMW
BY Bruce Young | US PGA Tour | 2013 BMW Championship | Preview | 10 Sep 2013
The FedEx Cup Playoffs recommence this Thursday at the Conway Farms Golf Club in Lake Forest in Illinois where the leading 70 players remaining on the FedEx Cup point list will fight it out for the US$8 million purse and the chance to graduate to the Tour Championship Final in Atlanta in a week’s time.
The event has a new home this year with the Tom Fazio designed Conway Farms, north of Chicago, being used for the first occasion after many years at Cog Hill and last year at Crooked Stick in Indiana.
Rory McIlory is the defending champion, his victory in the event in Indiana last year coming in the middle of an almost unbelievable run of form where he won three times in four starts on the PGA Tour.
He is well below that level in 2013 and although there has been the occasional encouraging sign of late he if he was to win then it would be a well received albeit surprising turn of events.
With no real form at this layout to go on then it may well be a case of considering the in-form golfers and of those then Henrik Stenson, Adam Scott, Steve Stricker and Tiger Woods demand the most attention.
Scott won two starts ago at the Barclays Championship in New Jersey and although very disappointing on a golf course on which he had done well previously at the Deutsche Bank two weeks ago his form overall has been so good, the world number two can’t be ignored.
Stenson, the current FedEx Cup leader, has been inside the top three in five of his last six starts and is now the 6th highest ranked player in the game. He is back to where he was several years ago when reaching the 4th place in world ranking and it would be of no surprise to see him contend again.
Woods is aiming for his 6th PGA Tour title of the season and although he too finished down the field at the Deutsche Bank Championship he is still a great chance to extend his position at the top of the game.
I like Stricker’s chances yet again, especially given the relatively short layout at Conway Farms. He finished runner-up behind Stenson two weeks ago and has been remarkably consistent in limited starts this season. Stricker often plays well in this part of the country as he was raised not far from from this venue in Wisconsin and played his college golf in Chicago.
Jason Dufner and Matt Kuchar are others whose recent form is so good they can’t be ignored.
Australians in the field are Adam Scott, Jason Day, Matt Jones and Marc Leishman and two of the four seem assured of graduating to Atlanta for next week’s Tour Championship while Jones at 51 and Leishman at 58 have work to do if they are to be inside the top 30 by Sunday and making plans for the Tour Championship.
Scott we have mentioned earlier while Day at 12 is playing well enough to be a chance to contend for just his second PGA Tour title.
Matt Jones at 51st and Marc Leishman at 58th have work to do if they are to find themselves in the Tour Championship field of 30 for next week’s event.
Leishman has been down this track before however. In 2009 in his rookie season he finished runner-up in this event at Cog Hill to make it to the Tour Championship which was a remarkable achievement.
The tournament carries total prize-money of US$8 million with US$1,440,000 going to the winner.