2013 BMW Championship Dates: September 9-15, 2013 Where: Conway Farms Golf Club, Lake Forest, Ill. Par/Yards: 36-35—71/7,216 yards Field: 70 2012 champion: Rory McIlroy 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 2012 BMW Championship
A week after claiming a 2-stroke win at the Deutsche Bank Championship, Rory McIlroy opened with seven birdies and an eagle at Crooked Stick GC en route to an 8-under 64 to take a share of the 18-hole lead with three others.
McIlroy would go on to become one of just three players in the 70-man field to post all four rounds in the 60s, joining Lee Westwood and Robert Garrigus.
His final-round, 5-under 67 would result in a 2-stroke win over Phil Mickelson and Lee Westwood.
With the win, McIlroy became the first player to win back-to-back events since Tiger Woods in 2009 (Buick Open, World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational) and his win marked his third in four starts.
McIlroy’s sixth win on the PGA TOUR also earned him the distinction of becoming just the fourth player to win back-to-back Playoffs events since its 2007 inception. He joins Tiger Woods (2007 BMW Championship, TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola), Vijay Singh (2008 The Barclays, Deutsche Bank Championship) and Camilo Villegas (2008 BMW Championship, TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola).
McIlroy would lead the FedExCup points reset headed into his first TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola, where he finished T10 and second in the final FedExCup standings.
McIlroy entered this year’s FedExCup Playoffs ranked No. 49. Following a T19 finish at The Barclays and T47 showing at the Deutsche Bank Championship, McIlroy comes into this year’s BMW Championship ranked 41st in the standings.
Conway Farms Golf Club
The Tom Fazio designed Conway Farms GC opened in August of 1991. At 7,216 yards, the par-71 layout has hosted a myriad of events, including the 2008 U.S. Open Sectional Qualifying, the 2009 Western Amateur and 2012 U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship
2014 BMW Championship
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 Mickelson.
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.
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 East Lake GC.
Here’s a look at the top five headed into this week’s BMW Championship.
Henrik Stenson (No. 1)
Highlighted by a second-round, 8-under 63, Sweden’s Henrik Stenson’s win at the Deutsche Bank Championship was his first since the 2009 PLAYERS Championship, and third overall.
With his win at TPC Boston, he became just the fifth player to win a World Golf Championships event (2007 WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship), a PLAYERS Championship (2009) and a Playoffs event (2013 Deutsche Bank Championship).
Stenson, who fell to as low as No. 230 in the Official World Golf Rankings in February of 2012, moved to No. 6 with his win at the Deutsche Bank Championship, up from No. 10. With his most recent win, Stenson became the sixth different international winner of a Playoffs event since its 2007 inception, joining Adam Scott, Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose, Camilo Villegas and Vijay Singh.
The win was his seventh top-10 finish of the season in 14 made cuts (16 starts).
It was also his sixth start in a Playoffs event.
Tiger Woods (No. 2)
On the strength of five PGA TOUR wins this season, five-time BMW Championship winner Tiger Woods entered the FedExCup Playoffs atop the points standings for the second consecutive year. Woods also entered the FedExCup Playoffs in the No. 1 position in 2007 and 2009, having gone on to win the FedExCup title in both of those years. He remains the only player to have won the FedExCup title more than once.
With Playoff victories at the 2007, 2009 BMW Championship and 2007 TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola, Woods leads the TOUR in number of Playoff wins.
In 2012, Woods finished third in the race for the FedExCup behind Brandt Snedeker and Rory McIlroy after finishing T38 at The Barclays, third at the Deutsche Bank Championship, T4 at the BMW Championship and T8 at the TOUR Championship.
Woods has won five times on the PGA TOUR this season - the only player with more than two victories this year.
Woods’ fifth victory of the season came at the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational. The win was his 79th career PGA TOUR title in his 290th career professional TOUR start at the age of 37 years, 7 months and 5 days.
His 79 victories are three shy of Sam Snead’s all-time PGA TOUR record of 82 victories.
Adam Scott (No. 3)
With his win at The Barclays, Adam Scott became just the fourth player to win a major championship title and Playoff event in the same season, joining Tiger Woods (2007 PGA Championship, BMW Championship, TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola), Webb Simpson (2011 U.S. Open, Deutsche Bank Championship) and Rory McIlroy (2012 PGA Championship, Deutsche Bank Championship, BMW Championship).
In addition to his playoff victory over Angel Cabrera at the Masters and Barclays win, Scott has collected an additional four top-10 finishes in 2013, including top-5s at The Open Championship (T3) and PGA Championship (T5).
Scott comes to this week’s BMW Championship in search of his 11th career PGA TOUR victory.
The only other time Scott has collected more than one win in a season was in 2004 (THE PLAYERS, Booz Allen Classic).
Matt Kuchar (No. 4)
Matt Kuchar has been one of the most consistent players on the PGA TOUR since 2009, with five of his six career wins and 41 top-10 finishes. The Georgia Tech grad recorded his first multi-win season in 2013 with victories at the World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship and the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide Insurance.
Kuchar’s best finish in the FedExCup came in 2010 when he finished No. 2 behind Jim Furyk, thanks to his win at The Barclays and T3 finish at the BMW Championship.
Graham DeLaet (No. 5)
With his T2 finish at The Barclays and third-place showing at the Deutsche Bank Championship, Canada’s Graham DeLaet is the only player to have netted top-10 finishes in both of the first two Playoff events.
In his last nine rounds leading up to the Playoffs, DeLaet had not been able to break par once.
In seven of his eight in the first two Playoffs events, seven of eight rounds have been under par.
Still in search of his first PGA TOUR title, DeLaet comes to Conway Farms this week with seven top-10 finishes to his 2013 resume.
He is looking to be the first Canadian to win on TOUR since Stephen Ames won the 2009 Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Classic.
No Canadian has ever won a Playoffs event.
DeLaet clinched the 10th and final position on the International Presidents Cup team last week at the Deutsche Bank Championship.