TOP 5 WATCH
The Top 5 players entering the TOUR Championship will control their own destiny at East Lake. Here’s a look at how the current Top 5 fared Friday at the BMW.
1. Jordan Spieth (71). Spieth shot a first-round 65 but was only 1 under par on the next 36 holes. He’s still projected to hold onto the top spot in the FedExCup standings.
2. Justin Thomas (71). Like Spieth, Thomas shot a solid first round (67), but could only manage to shoot 70-71 in the following two rounds. He’s still projected to maintain the No. 2 spot in the FedExCup standings.
3. Dustin Johnson (69). The BMW’s defending champion is T55 this week, but is still projected to hold on to the third spot in the FedExCup standings.
4. Hideki Matsuyama (70). His FedExCup Playoffs struggles continue. Matsuyama was No. 1 at the start of the postseason, but is now projected to drop to seventh in the standings. He is T49 this week.
5. Jon Rahm (65). Rahm’s 65 matched the low round of the day and moved him into fifth place. He’s seeking his third consecutive top-five finish in his first Playoffs, and still is projected to begin East Lake at No. 5 in the FedExCup.
Sergio Garcia’s season was highlighted by a victory at a course co-founded by famed amateur Bobby Jones. Garcia, the reigning Masters champion, is trying to earn a tee time at another course closely associated closely with Jones, East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta. Garcia is projected to move inside the top 30 of the FedExCup standings, but he’ll start Sunday with only a slim cushion. Garcia is T15 at the BMW Championship. He likely needs to finish T19 at Conway Farms Golf Club to qualify for his first TOUR Championship since 2014.
Last season marked the first time that two rookies qualified for the TOUR Championship. We could see a repeat of that feat this year. Both Patrick Cantlay and Mackenzie Hughes are projected to qualify for East Lake after Saturday’s play. Hughes, winner of The RSM Classic, is T15 at the BMW Championship and projected to jump from 31st to 24th in the FedExCup standings. Cantlay, who’s finished in the top 15 in the first two events of this year’s FedExCup Playoffs, is in fifth place at the BMW Championship. Cantlay, who’s making just his 12th start of the season, started the season on a medical extension from his rookie season of 2013-14.
Stewart Cink is scheduled to receive the Payne Stewart Award next week at East Lake Golf Club. Cink, who lives in the Atlanta area, may be at East Lake as a competitor, too. He’ll need a low round to do it, though. Cink was inside the top 30 of the projected FedExCup standings for much of Saturday, but bogeys on the final two holes dropped him to No. 46. He’s T12 at the BMW Championship and three shots outside the top 30. ShotLink projects that he will need a fourth-place finish to qualify for his first TOUR Championship since 2009, the year he won The Open Championship.