Featured Groups: BMW Championship
September 04, 2018
By Staff, PGATOUR.COM
- September 04, 2018
Inside the PGA TOUR
2018 BMW Championship preview
Editor's Note: Tee times for Round 2 have been due to anticipated weather, they have been moved up to 7 a.m. - 9 a.m. ET with threesomes off split tees. PGA TOUR LIVE coverage will begin at 7:00 a.m. The broadcast will cover action on Nos. 1 and 10 before picking up the Featured Groups at 7:22 a.m. Marc Leishman, Kevin Na and Rory McIlroy will tee off No. 1, while Tony Finau, Justin Thomas and Brooks Koepka will go off No. 10. At 8 a.m. coverage will pick up the group of Tiger Woods, Rickie Fowler and Jordan Spieth.
Golf Channel will air live coverage from 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.
The third leg of the FedExCup Playoffs takes us to Donald Ross gem Aronimink Golf Club in Philadelphia, home of the Super Bowl champion Eagles and Rocky Balboa.
Bryson DeChambeau has always seen himself as an underdog. Now, though, he is coming off back-to-back wins, and with a 2,328-point lead in the FedExCup, he is guaranteed to be No. 1 heading into the season-ending TOUR Championship at East Lake.
“I've still got to focus on doing the absolute best I can each and every week,” DeChambeau said. “I can't get caught up in the fact that I'm No. 1.”
Aronimink has undergone a Gil Hanse restoration since it hosted the 1962 PGA Championship won by Gary Player, and the Quicken Loans National in 2010 (won by Justin Rose) and 2011 (Nick Watney). Although Watney didn’t make the 70-man field for the BMW, Rose moved up to FedExCup No.3 after his runner-up finish to DeChambeau at the Dell Technologies Championship on Monday.
Related: Full tee times
The real Rocky stories in Philadelphia, though, will be the handful of golfer who narrowly played their way into the BMW, moving inside the top 70. They were led by C.T. Pan, who finished T4 at the Dell Technologies to shoot up 39 spots, to 33rd. Abraham Ancer was the second biggest mover, covering 36 spots to 56th, and Hideki Matsuyama made a 30-spot jump to 28th.
They must now get into the top 30 to advance to the season-ending TOUR Championship in two weeks. Notable names on the bubble heading into the BMW include former FedExCup champions Rory McIlroy (24), Tiger Woods (25), Jordan Spieth (27) and Brandt Snedeker (32).
Rickie Fowler (26) makes his return to competition after missing the last two weeks with a strained oblique muscle.
PGA TOUR LIVE will offer streaming coverage of the Featured Groups in the first two rounds starting at 11 a.m. ET, with the broadcast ending at 6 p.m. each day. We will move to Featured Hole coverage at 3 p.m. Featured Hole Coverage consists of the 14th (Par-3) and 17th (Par-3) on Thursday and Friday. Viewers on Twitter can watch from 11 a.m. to approximately noon Thursday and Friday. The Saturday and Sunday coverage begins at 8:30 a.m. and will be a mix of Featured Group and Featured Holes, with the broadcast running until 6 p.m.
Here’s a look at the Featured Groups for the first two rounds at the BMW Championship (current FedExCup rankings in parentheses; all times Eastern):
Tiger Woods (25), Rickie Fowler (26), Jordan Spieth (27)
The only two-time winner of the FedExCup, Woods is coming off a T40 at THE NORTHERN TRUST and T24 at the Dell Technologies. And his history at Aronimink is only so-so: a T46 at the 2010 Quicken Loans National before missing the tournament with injury the following year. Fowler is coming back from a strained oblique, hoping to play his way off the bubble and into the TOUR Championship. The good news: He was in position to win the AT&T National at Aronimink until a final-round 74 dropped him into a T13 finish. Spieth remains winless this season but trending in the right direction after a T12 at the Dell Technologies Championship.
Tee time: 11:30 a.m. off 10.
Bryson DeChambeau (1), Dustin Johnson (2), Justin Rose (3)
The hottest player on the planet, DeChambeau, posted the two biggest wins of his career at THE NORTHERN TRUST and Dell Technologies Championship over the last two weeks. Can he become the first player to win three Playoffs tournaments in the 12-year history of the FedExCup? He will match his skills against world No. 1 Dustin Johnson, whom he replaced atop the FedExCup standings, and Rose, who has the best history at Aronimink after winning there at the 2010 Quicken Loans National and finishing T15 in 2011.
Tee time: 11:41 a.m.
Bubba Watson (7), Cameron Smith (8), Phil Mickelson (9)
Two popular lefties and a high-riser from Down Under. Watson, a three-time winner this season, went quiet after winning the Travelers Championship but is coming off a T7 at the Dell Technologies. Mickelson, who broke a nearly five-year winless streak at the World Golf Championships-Mexico Championship in March, also showed well in Boston with a final-round 63 (T12). And young Australian Smith, who won the Zurich Classic of New Orleans with partner Jonas Blixt, is peaking at the right time with two top–five finishes in the Playoffs.
Tee time: 11:52 a.m.
Tony Finau (4), Justin Thomas (5), Brooks Koepka (6)
Finau, who is coming off a T4 at the Dell Technologies, maintained fourth position in the FedExCup and is by far the highest ranked player remaining without a victory this season. He has 10 top-10 finishes in 26 starts, and shows no signs of slowing down. Thomas, who was defending his title at the Dell Technologies, just as he is in the entire FedExCup this season, finished T24 at TPC Boston to slip from third to fifth in the standings. And Koepka, trying to find the magic he showed in winning the U.S. Open and PGA Championship earlier this summer, finished T12 in Boston and slipped out of the all-important top five in the FedExCup.
Tee time: 7:22 a.m.
Jason Day (10), Webb Simpson (11), Patrick Cantlay (12)
Day will aim to bounce back from his first missed cut at TPC Boston, normally one of his favorite courses, while Simpson, the 36-hole leader at the Dell Technologies and runaway winner of THE PLAYERS Championship earlier this season, must bounce back from a forgettable last two rounds at TPC Boston (T49) over the long Labor Day weekend. Meanwhile, Cantlay, like Finau, continues to excel from tee to green and post solid finishes as he stealthily climbs up the FedExCup standings.
Tee time: 7:33 a.m.