2023 BMW Championship: Top 10 power rankings at Olympia Fields

BMW Championship, FedEx Cup Playoffs,Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
BMW Championship, FedEx Cup Playoffs,Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports /
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The 2023 BMW Championship returns to Olympia Fields for the second leg of the 2023 FedEx Cup Playoffs.

And then there were 50.

The top 70 players from the 2022-23 season-long FedEx Cup points race qualified for last week’s FedEx St. Jude Championship.

Top 50 in the standings after Memphis qualified for this week’s BMW Championship.

The venue is the North Course at Olympia Fields Country Club in Olympia Fields, Illinois, just south of Chicago. OFCC has hosted a number of big men’s events: The PGA Championship in 1925 and 1961, U.S. Open in 1928 and 2003, U.S. Senior Open in 1997, and U.S. Amateur in 2015.

It’s hosted the Western Open in 1920, 1927, 1933, 1968, and 1971. This is its second time getting the BMW Championship or any FedEx Cup Playoffs event. It last hosted in 2020.

Olympia Fields also hosted the 2017 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship.

If it’s set up like 2020, expect a tough test. The winning score was a paltry 4-under-par, two shots worse than the 2003 U.S. Open.

It’s a tree-lined, parkland-style course with thick rough and an average of three greenside bunkers per hole. The Willie Park Jr. design has relatively small, sloping green complexes.

It’s been a fairly wet summer, so it may not play as fiery as it did a few years ago.

There’s some rain in the forecast during practice rounds, but it should be gorgeous for tournament play with temperatures in the 60s-80s and dry. Wind is not expected to be a big factor.

Let’s get down to who can not only make their way into the top 30 at East Lake, but who can battle for a top-10 spot this week in Illinois.

BMW Championship, FedEx Cup, Olympia Fields, FedEx Cup Playoffs, PGA Tour, 2023 BMW Championship, Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm
Jordan Spieth, 2018 BMW Championship, Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports /

Jordan Spieth brings some momentum into his Olympia Fields debut. He missed out on qualifying for the 2020 BMW Championship here at the North Course and did not tee it up here during his collegiate days at Texas.

He’s comfortably in the field this week after finishing T-6th at the FedEx St. Jude Championship.

He was in the mix on Sunday and carded rounds of 63-68-68-70 to finish four shots back. Spieth was the 18-hole leader.

It was the 30-year-old’s third top-25 in his last three starts and seventh top-10 of the 2022-23 PGA Tour season.

Spieth led the field in strokes gained per round around-the-green (1.1) and was top-20 in putting and tee-to-green. A holed bunker shot for birdie in the second round on the par-3 fourth hole played a part in that.

Spieth is gunning for his second career FedEx Cup Playoffs victory. His first came at the 2015 Tour Championship.

He ranks second on the PGA Tour in approach proximity from 150-175 yards (24’3”), a pretty common distance week in and week out.

The former Texas Longhorn is gaining strokes in every SG category and is 19th in total SG (.991).

A good short game looks like it will be important this week. Spieth is 31st in scrambling (63.12%) and first in scrambling from 20-30 yards (70.77%).

If he can have a decent driving week and stay out of trouble, a second straight top-10 looks feasible. It’d be an opportune time for Spieth’s first win of the season.