Sixty-Nine of the best PGA Tour players in the world move on to The BMW Championship this week at the Cherry Hills Country Club in the mile-high city. This will be the first time in the history of the FedEx Cup playoffs that an event has been contested West of the Mississippi River. Even though he is not in the field again, Dustin Johnson continues to occupy a spot in the rankings.
Of the players in the field, 59 are former PGA Tour winners, 15 are major champions, and twelve have won World Golf Championship(WGC) events.
Zach Johnson comes to Cherry Hills ranked 11th in FedEx Cup standings, and is the defending champion. Zach hasn’t played well since the West Coast swing, but continues to play well enough where a repeat at The BMW Championship would put him in the driver’s seat as we head to Atlanta, and the Tour Championship next week.
With the Ryder Cup rosters set last night, it’s time to get back to the business of crowning a FedEx Cup champion, and determine who will cash a huge check in Atlanta.
Rory McIlroy has taken his foot off of the gas since the PGA Championship and still finds himself ranked second going into Cherry Hills this week. Lets do some math here! Rory hit the gas pedal on the 18th hole Monday at TPC Boston and his 347 yard drive put a little scare in the folks trying to win the biggest tournament in their career. Let’s add 10% to the massive tee shots we’ve seen Rory hit all year, and plug that number into Cherry Hills at 5280 feet above sea level. We could see him hit the ball 400 yards. If Rory McIlroy wants to avenge his 2012 loss in the FedEx Cup to Brandt Snedeker, he needs to get that driver back on track this week, and if he does, I don’t think anyone can beat him.
Keegan Bradley can bomb the ball as well, and inspired by his selection to the Ryder Cup last night, Bradley could be a big factor in Denver. It’s been a couple of years since Bradley has won, and I think will come to Cherry Hills looking to show Tom Watson that he didn’t waste a pick. His T16 at the Deutsche Bank Championship leaves him without a top 10 in New England, but he ranked T7 in both fairways and GIR for the week. He could be a dangerous player this week.
When a player starts The Deutsche Bank in the last position and plays himself into contention, he certainly needs to be considered as a pick this week. He was 14th in GIR at TPC Boston, and sixth in scrambling, but it was the putter that warmed up. If Ogilvy can continue to putt well he can leverage a top spot in Atlanta if he can convert the runner-up in Boston into win at Cherry Hills.
Jason Day’s only win on the PGA Tour this year came down the road at Dove Mountain back in January, but the 26 year-old Aussie has been close since fully coming back from the hand injury that has held him back since the win against Frenchman, Victor Dubuisson. If he can figure out how to play on Sunday, he is going to win a big event soon, maybe as soon as this Sunday.
You’re probably wondering what I’m smoking, but Kevin Stadler lives in the area, and has had some experience at Cherry Hills. The son of the 1984 Masters is one of those guys who plays well out West, but seems to disappear when the tour moves East. He won earlier in Phoenix, albeit a gift from Bubba Watson, a win is a win. The altitude in Denver tends to equalize the length of the golf course, and a place where Kevin Stadler can win.