The final two weeks of the 2017 PGA TOUR season are upon us. Heading into the BMW Championship tomorrow, the best golfers in the world are trying to secure their spots at East Lake for the Tour Championship. The top 70 players for the entire season have earned berths in the BMW Championship and are trying secure a coveted invitation to the Tour Championship by finishing in the top 30 on the points list. Now is not the time to play safe, and fireworks are sure to fly at Conway Farms. Without further ado, here is our FedEx Cup preview for the BMW Championship:
Hot takes for the BMW Championship
Phil Mickelson contends
By Mickelson’s standards, it has been a lackluster year. He sits at 36th in the FedEx Cup standings, well outside his typical top 10 ranking at this stage in the year. He will be revitalized after being a captain’s pick for the upcoming President’s Cup, and will be eager to show some good form to prove that the pick was the right choice for captain Stricker. Expect him to contend and finish in the top 10, easily earning a spot at East Lake.
Jordan Spieth struggles
Spieth has had an unbelievable year, even by his lofty standards. However, after finishing runner-up in the first two playoff events, he will run out of steam and miss being in contention by a handful of shots. Luckily for him, there is no cut this week, so he will still get four rounds to hone his game, and by holding the number one spot in the standings, his place in the all-important top 5 heading to Atlanta is secure.
After narrowly losing the PGA Championship, Matsuyama’s consistent form all season has taken a turn for the worse. With Spieth’s close calls and DJ/Justin Thomas capturing trophies, he is sure to have a chip on his shoulder. After contending seemingly all year, and holding the top spot in the FedEx cup for much of the season, the past two weeks can easily be filed away as outliers. He is simply too good not to contend, especially when his rivals are bringing home the hardware and passing him on the points list. Expect Matsuyama to contend.
Dechambeau sneaks in
Bryson Dechambeau, in all of his unorthodox glory, has stolen headlines all year. By capturing the John Deere Classic, he sits precariously in the number 44 spot on the points list. It is not a given that in any year a rookie will make the Tour Championship, but Dechambeau will get it done outside Chicago this week.
This is something that we are almost becoming accustomed to seeing, despite how ridiculous it is. We know low scores are out there with Jim Furyk having shot an elusive 59 here just a few years ago. The technology and the players are just too good for them to not challenge a sub-60 round where scoring conditions are supposed to be ideal.
The story stays the same
While golf is as deep as it has ever been, the stars will shine this week at Conway Farms. Justin Thomas and Dustin Johnson have played incredible golf all year, and that trend continues this week. They have each captured a playoff title already, and the two of them, joined by Hideki Matsuyama, will duel down the stretch vying for the trophy. It is a golf course that can be played by everyone, but like many other courses, can be overpowered. All three of them possess incredible power that is complemented nicely by impeccable short games. The real winner will be us golf fans, but somebody has to take the title!
And the winner is…
Hideki Matsuyama. As stated before, he is just too good to let his rivals dominate the playoffs without making a push of his own. DJ and Thomas will duel him down the stretch, but look for some early birdies and clutch pars on the back nine to propel him to a narrow victory.