Round 3 Notebook: BMW Championship

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September 11, 2010
John Bush, PGA TOUR Staff

Weather: Morning showers turning into sunny skies in the afternoon. High of 71. Winds SW 6-12 mph.

Ryan Moore, No. 58 in FedExCup points

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• Projected finish to reach THE TOUR Championship -- 4th or better

• Ryan Moore, winner of the 2009 Wyndham Championship, bounced back from a second-round 3-over 74 with a 5-under 66 on Saturday to take the third-round lead at the 2010 BMW Championship. Dustin Johnson, Charlie Wi and Matt Kuchar sit one shot back.

• Moore has held the lead going into the final round of a TOUR event one previous time, finishing T11 at the 2009 Shell Houston Open (final-round 4-over 76).

• Moore is making his 11th-career start in the Playoffs, with a T18 at the 2007 BMW Championship his best finish. This is his fifth start at the BMW Championship, with the T18 in 2007 the best of three made cuts.

• Dating to 1970, the third-round leader/co-leader at the BMW Championship has won 21 times in 40 tournaments, including Tiger Woods in 2009.

• The third-round leader/co-leader has won 15 of 38 stroke-play events this season, most recently by Arjun Atwal at the Wyndham Championship.

Dustin Johnson, No. 16 in FedExCup points

• Projected finish to reach THE TOUR Championship -- Virtually Locked

• Dustin Johnson birdied five holes in a row (Nos. 7-11) on his way to a 3-under 68, pulling within one stroke of tournament-leader Ryan Moore. The longest streak of the season is six consecutive birdies, set by six players and most recently Charlie Wi at the Deutsche Bank Championship (R2).

• Johnson (T2), Ryan Moore (1) and Greg Chalmers (T9) lead the field with 15 birdies.

Charlie Wi, No. 37 in FedExCup points

• Projected finish to reach THE TOUR Championship -- 9th or better

• A third-round 1-under 70 has Charlie Wi positioned in a three-way tie for second, one stroke behind tournament-leader Ryan Moore. He entered The Playoffs No. 50 and has steadily climbed to No. 37 after first two Playoff events -- T27 (The Barclays) and T18 (Deutsche Bank Championship). Wi was T6 entering the final round at TPC Boston but posted a Monday 74 to fall out of contention.

Matt Kuchar, No. 1 in FedExCup points

• Projected finish to reach THE TOUR Championship -- Locked

• FedExCup points leader Matt Kuchar sits T2 after a third-round 1-under 70 in his attempt to join Jack Nicklaus (1967) as the only players to have won The Barclays and the BMW Championship in the same season.

• Kuchar, who won the 1997 U.S. Amateur Championship at Cog Hill G&CC, is making his third start at the BMW Championship (T60-2003, T10-2009).

Ian Poulter, No. 44 in FedExCup points

• Projected finish to reach THE TOUR Championship -- 7thor better

• Last year, Ian Poulter recorded a 4-over 75 on the final day of the BMW Championship to miss out on THE TOUR Championship presented by Coca-Cola by one spot, finishing .46 points behind John Senden. He'll enter Sunday's final round T5 and two strokes behind Ryan Moore. He is currently projected No. 27.

Ernie Els, No. 7 in FedExCup points

• Projected finish to reach THE TOUR Championship -- Locked

• Ernie Els (T7), who held the top spot in the FedExCup rankings for 22 consecutive weeks leading into the Playoffs, got back in contention on Saturday with a 4-under 67.

Zach Johnson, No. 17 in FedExCup points

• Projected finish to reach THE TOUR Championship -- Virtually Locked

• Zach Johnson birdied five holes in a row (Nos. 5-9) on Saturday en route to a 5-under 66, falling just one birdie shy of the longest birdie-streak of the season (held by six players and most recently Charlie Wi at the Deutsche Bank Championship). Johnson is making his sixth start at the BMW Championship, with a fifth-place finish in 2009 his best outing.

Tiger Woods, No. 51 in FedExCup points

• Projected finish to reach THE TOUR Championship -- 5th or better

• As a professional, five-time BMW Championship winner Tiger Woods (68) has never failed to post an under-par score in the third round at the BMW Championship, with a 2-under 70 in 2000 his worst effort.

Phil Mickelson, No. 14 in FedExCup points

• Projected finish to reach THE TOUR Championship -- Virtually Locked

• Phil Mickelson carded a 1-under 70 on Saturday, including a par on the closing 18th hole. He posted a bogey and double bogey on the same hole during the first two rounds. Could a 69 be in store for Mickelson on Sunday? He has improved his score by one stroke each of the first three rounds (72-71-70).

Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson Pairing

• Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson will be paired together during the final round of the BMW Championship for the 25th time on the PGA TOUR -- and the first time on TOUR since the final round of the 2009 Masters.

• Last year's unofficial World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions event in Shanghai, China, was the last time the two played together. In the final round grouping that also included Nick Watney, the 54-hole leader Mickelson shot 69 to Woods' 72 to win the event.

Phil Mickelson-Tiger Woods pairings on the PGA TOUR
Year Event/Round Mickelson Woods
1997 PGA Championship Rd 4 75 75
1997 NEC Invitational Rd 2 72 72
1997 TOUR Championship Rd 2 72 68
1998 Nissan Open Rd 1 67 68
1998 Nissan Open Rd 2 76 73
1999 U.S. Open Championship Rd 3 73 72
2000 NEC Invitational Rd 3 69 67
2000 Buick Open Rd 3 65 67
2000 TOUR Championship Rd 1 67 68
2001 PLAYERS Championship Rd 3 72 66
2001 Masters Tournament Rd 4 70 68
2002 TOUR Championship Rd 1 70 71
2002 TOUR Championship Rd 4 69 70
2003 Buick Invitational Rd 4 72 68
2005 Ford Championship at Doral Rd 4 69 66
2006 Ford Championship at Doral Rd 3 72 68
2006 PGA Championship Rd 1 69 69
2006 PGA Championship Rd 2 71 68
2007 Deutsche Bank Championship Rd 1 70 72
2007 Deutsche Bank Championship Rd 2 64 64
2007 Deutsche Bank Championship Rd 4 66 67
2008 U.S. Open Rd 1 71 72
2008 U.S. Open Rd 2 75 68
2009 Masters Tournament Rd 4 67 68
2010 BMW Championship Rd 4 TBD TBD

Jim Furyk, No. 11 in FedExCup points

• Projected finish to reach THE TOUR Championship -- Locked

• 2005 BMW Championship Jim Furyk (T22) will enter the final round seeking his 10th top-7 finish in his last 12 starts at the BMW Championship. His worst showings at the BMW Championship dating to 1997 were T34 (1999) and T14 (2007) finishes.

Sean O'Hair, No. 50 in FedExCup points

• Projected finish to reach THE TOUR Championship -- 5th or better

• Sean O'Hair holed a 4-iron from 211 yards on the par-3 second hole, the third ace on No. 2 (Franklin Langham/R1/2000; Mike Small/R2/2004) and the 40th overall at the BMW Championship. It is the 32nd ace of the 2010 season.

• It was a rollercoaster ride for O'Hair during Saturday's even-par 71. In addition to his ace, he posted three double bogeys (Nos. 3, 5 & 18) and four birdies (Nos. 1, 8, 11 & 14).

• As a result of the hole-in-one, O'Hair secured a four-year college scholarship for a yet-to-be named young caddie. Evans Scholar Matthew Sachaj, who was onsite, accepted a scholarship check on behalf of the Evans Scholars Foundation and the future recipient of the scholarship. Since 2007, BMW has donated more than $7.3 million to the Evans Scholars Foundation.

Miscellaneous Notes

• Camilo Villegas (18th) is the only player to have posted top-10s in all three previous BMW Championships since the inception of The PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup.

• Twenty-one of 70 players shot rounds in the 60s on Saturday, with Zach Johnson (66) and Ryan Moore (66) sharing low round of the day honors.

• Scoring Averages at the par-71 Cog Hill G&CC:

Front 9 Back 9 Total Cumulative
Thursday 36.086 35.543 71.629 ---
Friday 35.586 36.671 72.257 71.943
Saturday 35.157 36.057 71.214 71.700

• The leading score of 8-under is the highest at the BMW Championship since 1995, when Steve Lowery and Brett Ogle led at 7-under-par.

• Four natives of England sit inside the top-15 through 54 holes -- Ian Poulter (T5), Paul Casey (T5), Luke Donald (T14) and Justin Rose (T14). Poulter and Casey will be paired together on Sunday.

• Steve Stricker (67, R3) and Brian Gay (68, R1) own the only bogey-free rounds this week.

FedExCup Notes

• Any player in the top 16 this week could jump into first place with a win at the BMW Championship.

• Three players have finished inside the top 15 in the FedExCup standings in the first three seasons:

Player 2007 2008 2009 2010 (current standing)
Phil Mickelson 3rd 7th 2nd 14th
Steve Stricker 2nd 14th 3rd 3rd
Jim Furyk 11th 5th 4th 11th

• Three players have started in all 15 PGA TOUR Playoff events: Steve Stricker (T14), Stewart Cink (T26) and Hunter Mahan (T26).

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