By Mike McAllister, PGATOUR.COM
LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- A look at the FedExCup projections and implications following Thursday's first round of the BMW Championship:
FINAL 30 MOVES: Nick Watney and Kevin Stadler are projected to move inside the top 30 who will advance to TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola next week. Watney (currently 34th) is projected to 26 after shooting a 4-under 67. Stadler (32) is projected to 30th after shooting a 69. Projected to fall outside the top 30 are Dustin Johnson (currently 23rd) and Lee Westwood (currently 30th).
NO. 1: Brandt Snedeker, the first round leader after shooting a 63, is projected to move to No. 1. Snedeker, the reigning FedExCup champ, is currently ninth in points.
"I've been telling everybody my main goal was to be in the top 5 going into the FedExCup finale in East Lake and realize how important that is," Snedeker said after his round. "So that's my whole goal for this week, and I've done a great job putting myself in position to get to next week and controlling my own destiny and having a chance to retain that Cup that I've had for a year and cherished for a year."
TOP 5: Besides Snedeker, the projected top 5 includes Tiger Woods, Adam Scott, Henrik Stenson and Steve Stricker. Woods, Scott and Stenson are currently the top three in points, but Stricker is eighth. He opened with a 66 on Thursday.
If Snedeker and Stricker retain their spots inside the top 5, Matt Kuchar and Graham DeLaet would be bumped out.
The top five is vital going into East Lake, since any player inside the top five in points who wins the TOUR Championship would automatically win the FedExCup. That's how Snedeker did it last year as he started the Playoff finale in the No. 5 position.
BIGGEST MOVERS: Ryan Moore has made the biggest projected move. He currently ranks 65th but projects to move up to 40th after shooting a 67. But that means he still has work to do to make the top 30.
Zach Johnson is currently projected at 10th after starting the week 27th. Johnson is in solo second behind Snedeker on the BMW leaderboard after shooting a 64.
Charl Schwartzel is projected to move up 15 spots (from 29 to 14). Schwartzel is in a tie for third after shooting 66.
Scott Piercy and defending BMW champion Rory McIlry have made the biggest projected falls. Piercy shot a 10-over 81 and is projeced to fall 16 spots (from 35 to 51). McIlroy shot a 78 and is projected to fall 13 spots (from 41st to 54th).