The First Look: BMW Championship
August 09, 2019
By Cameron Morfit, PGATOUR.COM
Keegan Bradley secures win on 1st playoff hole at BMW
The city of Chicago and the Western Golf Association once again play host to the BMW Championship, the penultimate stop in the 2018-’19 PGA TOUR season. Results will go a long way toward determining who makes the all-important top-30 TOUR Championship at East Lake.
Several players in the BMW field, such as reigning FedExCup champion Justin Rose and 2016 champion Rory McIlroy, last played the course at the 2012 Ryder Cup, a victory for Europe. A year ago, Rose lost a playoff at the BMW, but his 2-P2-T4 in his last three starts was good enough to win the FedExCup. He is trying to become the first to successfully defend his FedExCup title.
FIELD NOTES: Tiger Woods, who withdrew from THE NORTHERN TRUST with a strained oblique, won the PGA Championship at Medinah in 1999 and 2006. He said on Twitter that he is still hopeful that he can play the BMW. … Ian Poulter, who was 60th in the FedExCup going into last week, went 4-0-0 for Europe as they came back from 10-6 deficit at the 2012 Ryder Cup at Medinah.Justin Rose made putts of 12, 35 and 12 feet on the last three holes, respectively, to beat Phil Mickelson in singles. … Keegan Bradley, the defending BMW champion, partnered with Mickelson and went 3-1-0. … Bradley’s only loss came in singles to Rory McIlroy, who was almost late for their tee time and required a police escort. … Paul Casey is set to return after sitting out the first Playoffs event to see his family after a four-week stretch on the road.
FEDEXCUP: Winner receives 2,000 points.
STORYLINES: This is the last chance to crack the 30-man FedExCup Playoffs finale, and the results at Medinah could also determine who goes into the revamped TOUR Championship at 10 under par and with a two-shot lead over his closest pursuer before the tournament starts. … Players had just one week, as opposed to two, to work their way into the top 70 in the FedExCup to qualify for the BMW. … Jordan Spieth, the 2015 FedExCup champion who has gone over two years without a victory, was projected to move from 69th to third in the FedExCup as he went into the weekend atop THE NORTHERN TRUST leaderboard. … Proceeds from the BMW will help fund Evans Scholarships for caddies; since ’07, the BMW Championship has raised more than $30 million for college scholarships for caddies of modest means.
COURSE: A Rees Jones redesign of a Tom Bendelow original, Medinah No. 3 is a 7,613-yard, par 72. This will mark the fourth time the WGA’s professional golf event will be held at Medinah No. 3, but the first since 1966. Founded in the 1920s by a group of Shriners, the club boasts three courses, all designed by Bendelow. The massive 120,000-square foot clubhouse designed by Richard Schmid is a unique architectural blend with Byzantine, Oriental and Louis XIV influences. Medinah is one of the Chicago area's best known venues for championship golf. Course No. 3 has the Ryder Cup (2012), three U.S. Opens (1949, 1975, and 1990), two PGA Championships (1999, 2006), three Western Opens (1946, 1962 and 1966), and other events in the pre-PGA Tour era. Players who have won at Medinah include "Lighthorse" Harry Cooper, Gene Sarazen, Byron Nelson, Billy Casper, Gary Player, Hale Irwin and Tiger Woods.
For those visiting the Chicago area, must-play courses include Prairie Landing Golf Club, Ravisloe Golf Club, and Cog Hill Golf & Country Club. Make your reservations through TeeOff.com.
72-HOLE RECORD: 261, Marc Leishman (2017).
18-HOLE RECORD: 59, Jim Furyk (2nd round, 2013).
LAST YEAR: After faltering on the weekend at THE NORTHERN TRUST, Keegan Bradley bounced back at the BMW, winning for the first time in over five years at Aronimink Golf Club in Newtown Square, Pennsylvania. Bradley, who had used a belly-putter to win three times in his first two seasons, including the PGA Championship and a World Golf Championship event, had seen his career flatline as anchored putting was outlawed starting Jan. 1, 2016. He lost his full swing, as well, but pieced it together under coach Darren May and held off Justin Rose in a sudden-death playoff to advance to the TOUR Championship for the first time since 2013.
HOW TO FOLLOW
TELEVISION: Thursday-Friday, 3-7 p.m. ET (Golf Channel). Saturday, 12-3 p.m. (GC), 3-6 p.m. (NBC). Sunday, 12-2 p.m. (GC), 2-6 p.m. (NBC)
PGA TOUR LIVE: Thursday-Friday, 9:45 a.m.-7 p.m. (featured groups). Saturday, 8:15 a.m.-3 p.m. (featured groups), 3-6 p.m. (featured holes). Sunday, 8:15 a.m.-2 p.m. (featured groups), 2-6 p.m. (featured holes). International subscribers (via GOLF.tv): Thursday-Friday, 11:15 to 22:00 GMT. Saturday-Sunday, 12:30 to 22:00.