FedExCup Update: BMW Championship, Round 1
September 08, 2016
By Ben Everill, PGATOUR.COM
- September 08, 2016
- Maintaining a short memory while on the golf course allowed Brian Harman to start fresh at the BMW Championship with a first-round 66. (Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
CARMEL, Ind. – A short memory is a good thing in golf – just ask Brian Harman.
Three days after shooting a final-round 77 in windy conditions at the Deutsche Bank Championship to drop from second to T24 Harman responded in strong fashion with a 6-under 66 at the BMW Championship to be just one shot off the lead in second place.
The Georgian lefty could have sewn up a place in the TOUR Championship in his home state had he held firm in Boston but instead he came to Crooked Stick in 57th spot in the FedExCup needing something special.
So far he’s provided. And he’s projected to 12th.
Only 33 of 69 players completed their opening rounds thanks to a rain delay of three hours and 33 minutes.
“You’ve got to be able to put that kind of stuff behind you. I know that I'm playing well,” Harman said of Monday’s debacle.
“Monday was really hard for me to swallow because I felt like that I was going to contend in that tournament. I felt really good and I felt like the conditions were playing to my advantage.”
“I felt like I was trying to outlast everybody. And I got killed by that stuff (wind). I was very disappointed with that.”
“But at the same time I played well enough to be in the tournament on Sunday. And that's what you're trying to do. So, the more times you can get there, the better your chances are.”
Harman recently became a father for the first time and it has helped him with perspective and patience, a trait he readily admits is not a strong one of his.
Daughter Cooper Marie is just three months old and is already helping with Dad’s game.
“She don't care. I go home and she's happy to see her dad and so, yeah, we got over it quick. It's been a much smoother transition than I thought it was going to be. So far. I should knock on wood,” he smiled when talking fatherhood.
“I've got a wonderful wife, she's such a good mom and takes such good care of her, that I'm able to come out here and go to work and know that Cooper's well taken care of.”
“Then I can come home and I'm the good guy, she's been having to deal with her all day and she just gets to play with me.”
There is no projected change to top spot at this early stage with Patrick Reed slated to remain the top dog in the FedExCup.
Reed fired a reasonable 2-under 70 in the opening round to sit in a tie for 24th, good enough to keep his grip on top spot.
Dustin Johnson opened his assault with a tidy 5-under 67 to now be projected to second, leapfrogging World No. 1 Jason Day.
Johnson sits tied third at Crooked Stick while Day could only muster a 1-over-71 to be a distant eight shots behind Roberto Castro’s lead, leaving him projected third.
It was a better start for Day’s countryman Adam Scott who is projected to jump one spot to fourth.
Scott is 4-under through 10 holes to be tied sixth which has him jumping over Rory McIlroy.
McIlroy holds the final spot in the top five after playing 10 holes in 3-under to be tied 10th.
Brooks Koepka started the week at number 30, 27 points clear of 31st.
He pulled himself one spot off the bubble after pushing his way to 3-under through 14 holes and into a tie for 10th.
The new man projected into 30th is Sean O’Hair. Starting the tournament in 20th spot on the points list O’Hair struggled to a 3-over 75 leaving him T65 in the 69-man field.
Early leader Roberto Castro, who put up an impressive 7-under 65, is projected to make the leap from 53rd to 6th. The 47 spot jump would obviously be a significant boost to his FedExCup chances. While Castro cannot force his way into the top five even with a win he can ensure he’s as close to it as possible.
MOVING IN, MOVING OUT
In the history of the FedExCup Playoffs no more than four players a year have been able to play their way into the top 30 at the BMW Championship. Currently three players are slated to make the move up to East Lake this year.
Castro heads the list as he looks to move from 53rd to 6th and he’s joined by Harman who is also looking to go deep from 57th to 12th.
Argentina’s Fabian Gomez is the other man projected in after his round of 4-under 68 sees him going from 32nd to 23rd.
Of course if three come in, three must go out. Rickie Fowler has endured a rough start, shooting a 75 to now project to 32nd.
Fellow big name Bubba Watson is 1-under on his round through 13 holes, leaving him dangling on the outside at 31st.
The last player projected to fall out is the only player eligible this week who is not playing. Open Champion Henrik Stenson.
With no cut this week no players will be formally eliminated until after Sunday’s final round and Stenson is resting his troublesome knee, taking the risk he will survive through to the TOUR Championship.
Currently 24th in the standings the former FedExCup champion might be worried as he is now projected down to 37th.