September 11 2013
By Rob Bolton, PGATOUR.COM Fantasy Columnist
With Conway Farms' debut on tap for the BMW Championship, comparing previous winners of this tournament won't help reveal angles at how the field of 70 could sort out this week. For example, Tiger Woods (2009), Dustin Johnson (2010) and Justin Rose (2011) ranked a respective first, second and first in putting inside 10 feet en route to their victories at Cog Hill. They went a collective 193-for-201. At Crooked Stick last year, Rory McIlroy equaled their missed-putt aggregate in that range all by himself, going 62-for-70, yet still emerged with a two-stroke victory.
Instead, now that we're at the midpoint of the FedExCup Playoffs, let's take a peek at how the overall trends that I laid out in my Power Rankings for the Playoffs stack up.
• Brandt Snedeker may not be in tip-top form, but he'll become the first FedExCup champion to return to East Lake the following season. He's ninth in the standings after slipping three spots after each of the first two events.
• All of the starting top 21 in FedExCup points are still inside the top 30. Since the current iteration of the scoring system was adopted in 2009, all of the top 13 survived the first three phases of the Playoffs. The top 19 advanced last year. Snedeker started the 2012 Playoffs slotted 19th.
• Exactly once in every FedExCup Playoffs since 2009 has a golfer that started outside the top 30 in points won a Playoffs event. The first two winners of this year's set -- Adam Scott (Barclays) and Henrik Stenson (Deutsche Bank Championship) -- began the Playoffs ranked 11th and ninth, respectively.
• In 2009, 2011 and 2012, seven golfers outside the starting top 30 advanced to the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola; eight qualified in 2010. After the first two legs this year, seven are currently inside the top-30 bubble. This includes Sergio Garcia (started 59th; now 24th), who is looking to go back-to-back. He began the 2012 Playoffs as the 33-seed and finished 17th. He'd join Geoff Ogilvy (2010, 2011) and John Senden (2011, 2012) in that unique club with another trip to East Lake next week.
The four champions of the BMW Championship since 2009 started their Playoffs ranked first (Woods), 11th (Johnson), 44th (Rose) and third (McIlroy).