FedExCup update: Bradley, Schauffele move into Top 30; Spieth, Grillo drop out
Spieth to miss TOUR Championship for first time in career
September 10, 2018
By Cameron Morfit, PGATOUR.COM
Keegan Bradley secures win on 1st playoff hole at BMW
Keegan Bradley and Xander Schauffele finished first and T3, respectively, at the BMW Championship at Aronimink to crack the all-important FedExCup Top 30 and play their way into the season-ending TOUR Championship at East Lake, Sept. 20-23.
Jordan Spieth and Emiliano Grillo were not so lucky, falling out of the Top 30 to miss out.
“It's awesome,” said Schauffele, whose victory at last year’s TOUR Championship cemented Rookie of the Year honors. “Been a long week. So, it will settle in on the flight home.”
How big is getting to East Lake? Even after winning the BMW for his fourth TOUR victory and first in six years, Bradley looked back at a pair of roughly 7-foot par putts he made to finish his third-round 66 on Saturday. They meant he was projected into the Top 30 and would make it to East Lake, which was big because no one knew if the final round would even happen.
“Well, I can't remember a week of playing so solid from start to finish,” Bradley said. “It was really all week I've played great. That par putt I made (on 18 ) on Saturday night was so huge because -- for two reasons: One, I didn't know if we were coming back and I knew I needed that to make the TOUR Championship. And obviously, now coming back and playing, I needed that putt.”
He needed every putt, and won with a par in a sudden-death playoff against Justin Rose.
Meanwhile, Spieth will miss the TOUR Championship for the first time in his career. The 2015 FedExCup champion, who especially loves East Lake, struggled with his putting all week and came up against an unusually long, soggy Aronimink in the final round, shooting 73 to finish T55.
“I was in control of my own destiny and didn't have it this week,” Spieth said. “Riding some momentum but all in all, just game kind of got a little off.”
After starting on the back nine and struggling with three bogeys, he staged a brief rally with birdies at the third and fifth holes before two more bogeys on 7 and 8 did him in.
Still, he faulted his second round for moving him onto the bubble in the first place.
Spieth was 0 for 3 on putts from 5-10 feet while shooting a 1-over 71 on Friday, losing 2.75 strokes on the greens in the BMW’s second round. It was his third-worst performance of the season in Strokes Gained: Putting, and he was still thinking about it after the tournament.
“You can’t shoot over par here,” Spieth said.
Top 5 players remain the same: They played musical chairs, but the Top 5 players remain the same.
The Top 5 control their own destiny with a win at next week’s TOUR Championship.
FedExCup No. 1 Bryson DeChambeau was guaranteed to remain in pole position no matter what, and after admitting to fatigue after winning the first two Playoffs events, he shot a final-round 67 to finish T19 at the BMW. He’ll get some much-needed time off before next week’s season-ending TOUR Championship at East Lake.
Justin Thomas, No. 5 in the FedExCup, had no such guarantees but remained in fifth position after a final-round 68 gave him a T12 finish at Aronimink. The result was important because Thomas could become the first back-to-back champion in 12 years of the FedExCup.
As for everyone else, there were only subtle shifts: Tony Finau shot a final-round 65(T8) to move from 4th to 3rd; Dustin Johnson, who was FedExCup No. 1 for much of the season, shot 67 for a T24 to move from 2nd to 4th. And playoff runner-up Justin Rose went from 3rd to 2nd.
“Yeah, I mean, No. 2 is an incredible spot to be in,” Rose said. “It's a week that there's many scenarios in play. I think when you go in there 15th, 16th, 17th, you know you have to win, and then you have to hope for a ton of other things to happen.”
With their results in the BMW Championship, the following players will move into the top 30 in the FedExCup standings and qualify for the season-ending TOUR Championship.
Keegan Bradley (1st): From 52nd to 6th
Xander Schauffele (T3): From 41st to 18th
These players will fall out of the top 30.
Jordan Spieth (T55): From 27th to 31st
Emiliano Grillo (T61): From 29th to 32nd
Biggest moves made in the FedExCup standings after the BMW Championship.
Up 46 spots: Keegan Bradley (From 52, entering BMW, to 6)
Up 23 spots: Xander Schauffele (From 41 to 18)
Up 11 spots: Andrew Putnam (68, T16, from 44 to 33); Adam Hadwin (67, T19, 47 to 36)
Gary Woodland, winner of the Waste Management Phoenix Open, started this week clinging to the final berth in the TOUR Championship. After opening with consecutive 66s, Woodland brought it home with a 67 for a T12 finish to move up to 28th.
Patton Kizzire, a two-time winner early this season, shot 73 to finish T61 at the BMW. Although it dropped him nine spots down the standings, he’s going to East Lake at 30th.
Jordan Spieth, 2015 FedExCup champion, was the odd man out. He started the week 27th, but was on the bubble going into the final round. Five bogeys and a 73 (T55) left him stuck at 31st.
Top 5 Watch
The top five players in FedExCup points after the BMW Championship will control their own destiny entering the TOUR Championship. A win at East Lake will guarantee any of the top five the FedExCup title. Here’s the current Top Five heading into the TOUR Championship:
1. Bryson DeChambeau (still 1st): After winning the first two events of the FedExCup Playoffs, DeChambeau was guaranteed to take the top spot into East Lake. Fighting fatigue, he never seriously contended at Aronimink but did shoot a final-round 67 for a respectable T19.
2. Justin Rose (was 3rd): Winner of the 2010 Quicken Loans National at Aronimink nearly did it again but bogeyed the 18th hole twice, once in regulation and once in the playoff, to finish second to Keegan Bradley. Rose still moved up a spot, and is also the new world No. 1.
3. Tony Finau (was 4th): Fired a final-round 65 to finish T8 at the BMW, which gave him his 11th top-10 finish this season, tied with Dustin Johnson for the TOUR lead.
4. Dustin Johnson (was 2nd): Never really threatened at Aronimink, but didn’t slide too far down the standings with final-round 67 (T24).
5. Justin Thomas (was 5th): Reigning FedExCup champion shot a final-round 68 for a T12 finish at the BMW, staying in the all-important Top 5. Has an excellent chance to make history as the first back-to-back FedExCup champion since the Playoffs began in 2007.