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The First Look: BMW Championship

5 Min Read

The First Look

The First Look: BMW Championship

    Written by Adam Stanley @Adam_Stanley

    The fields are getting tighter and the drama is getting higher.

    The PGA TOUR heads to Olympia Fields for the BMW Championship – a return after the big-time playoff in 2020 – the second leg of the FedExCup Playoffs with a 50-player field all eager to nail their spots at East Lake.

    Jon Rahm won the BMW Championship the last time it was contested at Olympia Fields, and he’ll look to recreate some magic at the Midwest venue. He remains No. 1 in the FedExCup standings heading into the BMW Championship thanks to his four wins this season, but Scottie Scheffler is nipping at his heels, remaining just 148 points behind.

    Patrick Cantlay, the two-time defending champion of the BMW Championship, is coming into the week after losing in a playoff to Lucas Glover at the FedEx St. Jude, the first leg of the FedExCup Playoffs.

    “In a good spot and two big weeks coming up, so I’m looking forward to it,” Cantlay said Sunday in Memphis, Tennessee. “I’m obviously playing really well, and next week is a golf course that I enjoy, so I’m looking forward to it.”

    While Cantlay is looking to make some PGA TOUR history with a BMW Championship three-peat, there will be twenty other golfers whose season will be finished come Sunday night in Illinois.

    It’s the Playoffs – anything can happen.

    FIELD NOTES: Lucas Glover will look to make it three wins in a row on the PGA TOUR after capturing both the Wyndham Championship and the FedExCup St. Jude Championship. He enters the BMW Championship fourth in the FedExCup standings. His win Sunday gave him a huge jump from his original spot at No. 49. The top three in the FedExCup standings remain unchanged for the second leg of the Playoffs – with Jon Rahm, Scottie Scheffler, and Rory McIlroy still on the podium. McIlroy finished T3 in Memphis, while Scheffler was T31 and Rahm was T37. Two golfers moved inside the top 50 after their results this weekend – Cam Davis (45) and Hideki Matsuyama (47) – while Mackenzie Hughes and Nick Hardy were bumped out. The final three golfers to earn their tickets to Olympia Fields were No. 48 Tom Hoge, No. 49 Harris English, and No. 50 Patrick Rodgers. Eric Cole is the only rookie to advance to the BMW Championship, currently at No. 42 in the FedExCup standings.

    Highest Ranked Players in the Field
    World RankingFedExCup
    1. Scottie Scheffler1. Jon Rahm
    2. Rory McIlroy2. Scottie Scheffler
    3. Jon Rahm3. Rory McIlroy
    4. Patrick Cantlay4. Lucas Glover
    5. Viktor Hovland5. Patrick Cantlay
    6. Xander Schauffele6. Max Homa
    7. Max Homa7. Viktor Hovland
    8. Brian Harman8. Wyndham Clark
    10. Matt Fitzpatrick9. Brian Harman
    11. Wyndham Clark10. Tommy Fleetwood


    1) The TOUR is in its Glover era

    With his win in Memphis, Lucas Glover heads to Olympia Fields looking to accomplish an even rarer feat than going back-to-back – winning three in a row. It’s happened just twice on TOUR since 2004, but this is the second time this season when a golfer has a chance to win three in a row, after Jon Rahm won The Sentry and The American Express earlier in 2023 (Rahm finished tied for seventh in his attempt at No. 3).

    2) Cantlay can’t lose at the BMW

    Speaking of back-to-back, Patrick Cantlay, who lost in a playoff to Glover in Memphis, is looking for his third straight title at the BMW Championship, despite it being contested over three different golf courses. Each of the golfers who tried for their third-straight TOUR titles this season – Viktor Hovland (World Wide Technologies Championship), Sam Burns (Valspar Championship), KH Lee (AT&T Byron Nelson) and Rory McIlroy (RBC Canadian Open), fell short in their attempts. Cantlay is up next, while Max Homa will go for three in row at the Fortinet Championship in September.

    3) Ins and outs for the TOUR Championship

    Last year, four golfers moved inside the top 30 in the FedExCup standings via their finishes at the BMW Championship to secure their spots at the TOUR Championship in Atlanta. Scott Stallings led the way after finishing runner-up, but Adam Scott, KH Lee and Aaron Wise (magic No. 30) also all earned their way into the season finale. With spots in the TOUR Championship up for grabs, the drama won’t stop until the final putt drops Sunday afternoon.

    FEDEXCUP: Winner receives 2,000 FedExCup points.

    COURSE: Olympia Fields Country Club (North Course), par 70, 7,366 yards. The storied, multi-time major championship host venue returns as the BMW Championship course for the second time, the first coming in 2020. The club, which has hosted four men’s majors plus the 2017 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, underwent a hearty renovation by Mark Mungearn in 2013. The North Course, designed by Willie Park Jr., features eight holes with water and 91 bunkers.

    72-HOLE RECORD: 261, Patrick Cantlay/Bryson DeChambeau (2021 – Caves Valley Golf Club)

    OLYMPIA FIELDS TOURNAMENT RECORD: 276, Jon Rahm, Dustin Johnson (2020)

    18-HOLE RECORD: 59, Jim Furyk (2nd round, 2013)

    OLYMPIA FIELDS COURSE RECORD: 64, Jon Rahm (4th round, 2020)

    LAST TIME: Patrick Cantlay successfully defended his title at the BMW Championship – winning the second leg of the FedExCup on two separate courses. He became the first player to win the BMW Championship back-to-back since the FedExCup began in 2007, topping Scott Stallings by one shot. He finished at 14 under. Stallings missed four birdie chances from inside 18 feet in the final round, however, the consolation prize for his runner-up result was his first trip to the TOUR Championship. Xander Schauffele and Scottie Scheffler finished tied for third at 11 under.

    The last time the BMW Championship was contested at Olympia Fields in 2020, Jon Rahm defeated Dustin Johnson in a thrilling playoff after nailing a 66-foot birdie putt on the first extra hole.

    HOW TO FOLLOW: (All times ET)

    Television: Thursday-Friday, 2 -6 p.m. (Golf Channel). Saturday, 1 -3 p.m. (Golf Channel), 3 -6 p.m. (CBS). Sunday, 12 -2 p.m. (Golf Channel), 2-6 p.m. (CBS)

    Stream 1Main Feed: 9:15 a.m.-2 p.m.Main Feed: 9:15 a.m.-2 p.m.Main Feed: 9:15 a.m.-1 p.m.Main Feed: 9:15 a.m.-noon
    Featured Group: 2-6 p.m.Featured Group: 2-6 p.m.Featured Group: 1-6 p.m.Featured Group: noon-6 p.m.
    Stream 2Marquee: 10:15 a.m.-2 p.m.Marquee: 10:15 a.m.-2 p.m.Marquee: 10:15 a.m.-1 p.m.Marquee: 10:15 a.m.-noon
    Featured Group: 2-6 p.m.Featured Group: 2-6 p.m.Featured Group: 1-6 p.m.Featured Group: noon-6 p.m.
    Stream 3Featured Groups: 10 a.m.-2 p.m.Featured Groups: 10 a.m.-2 p.m.Featured Groups: 10 a.m.-1 p.m.Featured Groups: 10 a.m.-noon
    Featured Hole: 2-6 p.m.Featured Hole: 2-6 p.m.Featured Hole: 1-6 p.m.Featured Hole: noon-6 p.m.
    Stream 4Featured Holes: 9:30 a.m.-2 p.m.Featured Holes: 9:30 a.m.-2 p.m.Featured Holes: 9:30 a.m.-1 p.m.Featured Holes: 9:30 a.m.-noon
    Featured Hole: 2-6 p.m.Featured Hole: 2-6 p.m.Featured Hole: 1-6 p.m.Featured Hole: noon-6 p.m.

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