By Sean Martin, PGATOUR.COM
Conway Farms Golf Club may be hosting its first PGA TOUR event this week, but the site of the BMW Championship has held its share of prestigious amateur tournaments, including the NCAA Championship, Western Amateur and multiple USGA events and qualifiers.
Most of the BMW Championship’s 70-man field will be seeing Conway Farms for the first time, but a handful of competitors have played the course in those amateur competitions. Here’s how players in the BMW field fared in past events at Conway Farms:
2009 WESTERN AMATEUR
SEMIFINALS: Zach Barlow def. Patrick Reed, 3 and 2
QUARTERFINALS: Patrick Reed def. Andrea Pavan, 2 up
ROUND OF 16: Patrick Reed def. Dylan Frittelli, 4 and 3
T2. Patrick Reed, 69-70-71-71-- 281
45. Harris English, 75-70-77-78--300
2008 U.S. OPEN SECTIONAL QUALIFYING
T2. Chris Kirk, 68-71--139
T2. D.A. Points, 69-70--139
15. Daniel Summerhays, 75-69--144
(Note: Kirk and Points qualified for U.S. Open.)
2006 CANON CUP
Peter Uihlein (East) def. Rickie Fowler (West), 5 and 4
Patrick Reed (East) def. Kyle Stanley (West), 5 and 4
2002 CANON CUP
Henry Liaw (West) def. Roberto Castro (East), 5 and 4
Chris Kirk (East) def. Randy Lowry (West), 6 and 5
Andrew Dresser (West) def. Webb Simpson (East), 2 and 1
(Note: Canon Cup is a team, match-play competition conducted by the AJGA, pitting teams from each side of the Mississippi River against each other.)
1998 U.S. JUNIOR
FIRST ROUND: Tom Johnson def. Brandt Snedeker, 4 and 2
(Note: Aaron Baddeley, who did not qualify for the BMW, was medalist and runner-up.)
1997 NCAA Championship
T6. Rory Sabbatini (Arizona), 71-72-73-68--284
MC. Jason Dufner (Auburn), 75-71--146
MC. Zach Johnson (Drake), 81-69--150
MC. Matt Kuchar (Georgia Tech)*, 77-76--153
*-played as individual
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
NORTON, Mass. -- The early pace has been set by Phil Mickelson. Now the question is can anyone from the afternoon wave catch him?
Here's a look at who and what to keep an eye on this afternoon from TPC Boston (all times ET):
Luke Donald, 12:22 p.m.: The once No. 1 player in the world and top-10 machine has just four top 10s this year, but he has had success here, finishing second in 2010 and third in 2011.
Sergio Garcia, 12:22 p.m.: Five years ago, Garcia finished fifth at TPC Boston. This year, he comes in looking for his first top 10 since THE PLAYERS Championship. At 59th in the FedExCup standings, however, he is safe for getting into the BMW Championship.
Rory McIlroy, 12:46 p.m.: What a difference a year makes. Last season, McIlroy was on top of the world and would win here and at the BMW Championship. This time he's just hoping to salvage what has been a mostly lost season. TPC Boston suits him well and this week could be telling.
Jason Day, Webb Simpson, 12:46p.m.: Day is playing with a sore wrist, but he has a good history here with a runner-up in 2010 and a third-place finish the following year. Likewise with Simpson, who won here in 2011.
Steve Stricker, Charl Schwartzel, 12:58 p.m.: This week marks Stricker's first Playoffs event of the year, while Schwartzel is making just his third appearance at TPC Boston (he's never finished in the top 20).
Matt Kuchar, Justin Rose, Brandt Snedeker, 1:10 p.m.: Rose nearly forced a playoff last week before finishing one back of winner Adam Scott. Snedeker, meanwhile, is trying to regain his early-season form as he tries to become the first player to win back-to-back FedExCups.
Dustin Johnson, Rickie Fowler, 1:10 p.m.: Given Johnson's length, TPC Boston sets up well for him. Twice he has finished in the top 5 here. Fowler, meanwhile, is coming off a top 10 last week.
Ernie Els, 1:34 p.m.: The Big Easy is on the outside looking in at 91st in the FedExCup standings. In the FedExCup era, Els has never not made it to at least the BMW Championship.
JERSEY CITY, N.J. -- Gary Woodland and Matt Kuchar represented the United States and won the 2011 World Cup in China.
The two will play together again on Sunday at Liberty National, only this time, they'll be trying to beat each other and win The Barclays. A win would give Kuchar the No. 1 spot in the FedExCup standings heading into next week's second Playoffs event while Woodland could rise as high as third.
Here are some interesting facts about the two men who own the lead at 12 under.
>>> Matt Kuchar has held or shared a 54-hole lead three times previously in his career and has gone on to win two of those events: 2009 Turning Stone Resort Championship (tied for the lead through three rounds) and 2013 Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide Insurance. He also led the 2013 Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial through three rounds (finished runner-up, one stroke behind winner Boo Weekley).
>>> Gary Woodland has never held the outright lead at a PGA TOUR stroke-play event. He has shared the lead three previous times: after round 1 of the 2011 Children's Miracle Network Classic, eventually tying for 12th; and after the third and fourth round of the 2011 Bob Hope Classic, eventually finishing tied for second. The Bob Hope Clasic is a 90-hole event. Woodland's most recent win, the 2013 Reno-Tahoe Open, uses a Modified Stableford scoring format. He was leading by seven points entering the final round and won by nine.
>>> Kuchar's four other PGA TOUR wins have been come-from-behind victories, including his win at The Barclays in 2010. Kuchar was five strokes down to Martin Laird starting the final-round and shot a 66 to force a playoff with Laird, which he eventually won on the first hole. Kuchar's win tied the tournament record for largest come-from-behind victory (Bobby Nichols, 1973; Vijay Singh, 1993).
>>> A win this week would make Kuchar only the second player to win the same FedExCup Playoffs event more than once (Tiger Woods: 2007, 2009 BMW Championship). He would join a list of seven other players with more than one Playoffs event win: Tiger Woods (3); Steve Stricker (2); Vijay Singh (2); Dustin Johnson (2); Camilo Villegas (2); Rory McIlroy (2); and Phil Mickelson (2).
>>> With a win this week at The Barclays, Woodland would join Tiger Woods (5), Kuchar (2), Brandt Snedeker (2) and Phil Mickelson (2) as the only multiple winners on TOUR this season.
>>> Kuchar enters the FedExCup Playoffs at No. 2 in the standings, the highest in the rankings he has ever begun the Playoffs. 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 wins 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 (the year he won The Barclays) when he finished No. 2 behind Jim Furyk. At The Barclays in 2009 – at Liberty National – Kuchar tied for 28th. Since the 2010 Quail Hollow Championship, Kuchar has only missed three cuts in his last 79 PGA TOUR starts.
>>> Woodland, a two-time winner on the PGA TOUR (2011 Tampa Bay Championship, 2013 Reno-Tahoe Open), is looking to reach the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola for the second time in his career, having finished the 2011 FedExCup Playoffs 17th in the standings the only other time he qualified for the FedExCup Playoffs.
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
JERSEY CITY, N.J. -- Matt Kuchar just teed off here in the third round of The Barclays, where he has a two-shot lead over Webb Simpson and Gary Woodland.
How did Kuchar, who can take over the top spot in the FedExCup standings with a win for the first time since winning this event in 2010, get to the top of the leaderboard?
Coming into the week, Kuchar was just 142nd in driving accuracy. Through two rounds here? He's missed just five fairways.
He has also continued to putt well. Ranked 19th in strokes gained-putting on the season, Kuchar has picked up 1.8 strokes per round on the field with his putter this week, fourth-best in the field.
Kuchar has also been nearly perfect from inside 10 feet, making 29 of 30.
And it's not just this week -- Kuchar has played his last 127 holes without a three-putt, the longest active streak on the PGA TOUR. Compare that to the TOUR average of a player having a three-putt once every 29 holes this season, and it stands out even more.
JERSEY CITY, N.J. -- Matt Kuchar returned to Liberty National to complete his second round on Saturday morning and didn't waste any time extending his lead.
Kuchar knocked in a 28-footer for birdie on the par-3 14th for the first of three birdies over his next four holes.
The only thing keeping him from a big lead were a pair of bogeys when he got in trouble off the tee on the 15th and 18th holes.
Still, Kuchar leads by two after a 65.
Webb Simpson and Gary Woodland are tied for second at 9 under.
Four others -- Rickie Fowler, Keegan Bradley, Adam Scott and Charl Schwartzel -- share fourth at 7 under.
Tiger Woods, meanwhile, is one of nine players another stroke back after completing his second round on Saturday. He shot 69, making one birdie and four pars over his final five holes.
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
JERSEY CITY, N.J. -- The only thing that slowed Matt Kuchar on Friday at The Barclays was darkness.
Kuchar was 5 under through 13 holes and 10 under overall when the horn sounded in the second round at Liberty National.
When he returns Saturday morning at 7:30 a.m. ET, he'll be facing a long birdie putt from the fringe on the par-3 14th.
"I've been playing some good golf," Kuchar said.
That's an understatement. In 19 starts this year, Kuchar has two wins, two runner-up finishes and three other top 10s.
In Friday's second round Kuchar missed just one fairway and four greens and was without a bogey. He also had a half-dozen one-putts, including a 20-footer for birdie on No. 10.
He had a chance for an eagle on the par-5 13th but missed the 11-footer and settled for birdie to take a one-shot lead into the night over Webb Simpson and Gary Woodland.
"It was dark," Kuchar said. "It was a good thing to be able to stop now and come out tomorrow morning and conditions will hopefully be really good in the morning."
William McGirt made great FedExCup gains when he finished second in Canada. (Martin/Getty Images)
By David McPherson, Special to PGATOUR.COM
OAKVILLE, Ontario -- On a windy final day at Glen Abbey that saw gusts reach 25 mph – making scoring more difficult – William McGirt breezed up the leaderboard.
With a closing 4-under 68 McGirt finished T2 in the RBC Canadian Open for the second straight year. In fact, seven of McGirt’s last eight rounds north of the U.S. border have been in the 60s. Something in the water perhaps that makes McGirt play some of his best golf in Canada?
“I don’t know … for some reason I’m very comfortable up here,” said the 34-year-old. “The crowds are great and the people appreciate good shots.”
With this co-runner-up finish, McGirt also made a big move in the FedExCup standings, going from No. 119 to No.80, putting him in great position to make the FedExCup Playoffs.
Dustin Johnson, Jason Bohn, and Matt Kuchar joined McGirt in second place with a four-day total of -13. The T2 gave Bohn his first back-to-back top-10 finishes of his career and gave Kuchar his seventh top 10 of the season, which includes a win at the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide Insurance. Kuchar said the wind was definitely a factor on Sunday.
“Today was by far the hardest day. The wind was strong and coming from a different direction. It was difficult. Definitely the most challenging all four days, for sure. I felt like I was off and running with a birdie on the first and then hit a bad drive on 2. Two was drastically different. Playing into the wind on that tee shot, it was a hard one to get a line on and then into the wind you really get confused.”
By David McPherson, Special to the PGATOUR.COM
OAKVILLE, Ontario -- A moody Mother Nature, the overnight leader withdrawing, and players going low sums up the third round at the RBC Canadian Open.
After blessing Glen Abbey with perfect weather all week, Mother Nature changed her tune midway through the third round. A storm front rumbled through the area shortly after lunch, causing the tournament’s first weather delay.
The delay meant nothing to the overnight leader Hunter Mahan. He never teed off. The 31-year-old was on the driving range warming up, before the weather hit, when he received a call that his wife had gone into early labor. In a flash, he left the course, and jumped on a plane back to Dallas, Texas, to join his spouse.
Suddenly, the lead had narrowed by a couple of shots. And, with optimal scoring conditions after steady rainfall that softened the greens, players took advantage of this twist of fate.
Dustin Johnson struck first. He posted a 9-under 63 to get the early clubhouse lead at 11 under. The 29-year-old birdied the last three holes yesterday to make the cut and carried that momentum into his round today. Johnson sits T5 heading into tomorrow’s final round. Once again, he took advantage of Glen Abbey’s scoreable finishing three holes -- making birdie on 16 and an eagle on 18.
“Today I really didn’t make any mistakes,” Johnson said. “I hit it good all day long, hit it close, had a lot of birdie looks, and rolled a few putts in.”
Speaking of rolling a few putts in, that’s what Brandt Snedeker did in the afternoon -- taking only 25. With this hot putter (he said he’s had in his bag for seven years now) combined with some stellar wedge play, he matched Johnson’s 63 to take the lead heading into the final round.
“Today was obviously a great day,” Snedeker said. “I knew I was playing really well after yesterday and just kind of got some bad breaks during one stretch yesterday and went out there today and hit a lot of quality shots, gave myself a lot of good looks at birdies and obviously made a bunch of putts. When you do that, you're going to shoot a low score, and I was able to do that.”
Other players who took advantage of the softer conditions Saturday, included Matt Kuchar, who shot 64, David Lingmerth with a 65, a half-dozen other players shot 6-under 66s.
“You deal with all the elements that rain brings, but the rain also softens up the golf course, makes fairways play wider and the greens more receptive,” said Kuchar. “There were certainly a lot of opportunities for birdies. It seems like when the rain goes away, things calm down and the course gets really attackable.”
Tee times are out for the first two rounds of the RBC Canadian Open, where Scott Piercy is trying to become just the second player in the history of golf's third-oldest tournament to successfully defend his title. The only other player to do it was Jim Furyk, who went back-to-back in 2006 and 2007.
Here's a closer look at the group and other notable groups to watch the first two rounds (all times ET):
Scott Piercy, Ernie Els, Luke Donald: Piercy won this tournament a year ago and also played well in 2011, finishing sixth. Els, meanwhile, has had four finishes in the top six in his last eight starts worldwide. Donald finished third in the event in 2010. They'll tee off at 12:45 p.m. Thursday and 7:30 a.m. Friday.
Woody Austin, Graeme McDowell, Jim Furyk: Austin is coming off his first victory in six years and another strong performance could get him into the FedExCup Playoffs picture. McDowell, who won the RBC Heritage earlier this season, is playing this RBC event for the first time. They'll tee off at 12:55 p.m. Thursday and 7:40 a.m. Friday.
Matt Kuchar, Brandt Snedeker, Bubba Watson: Kuchar has a half-dozen top 10s this year, including two wins. He also finished fourth in this tournament in 2010. Snedeker enters the week off three straight finishes in the top 20 and he finished fifth the last time this event was played at Glen Abbey. They'll tee off at 7:30 a.m. Thursday and 12:45 p.m. Friday.
Billy Horschel, Dustin Johnson, Hunter Mahan: It has been a breakout season for Horschel, who has seven top 10s, including a first, second and third. He's cooled of late, however, with no finishes in the top 30 in his last three starts. Mahan, who was in the final pairing on Sunday at Muirfield, finished fourth here in 2004. They'll tee off at 7:40 a.m. Thursday and 12:55 p.m. Friday.