2022 BMW Championship leaderboard: Patrick Cantlay surges into solo lead after Round 3 in Wilmington


Players described Wilmington Country Club in a similar vein to Caves Valley, last year’s BMW Championship venue, so it should come as no surprise that Patrick Cantlay tops the standings after playing 54 holes. The defending champion may not lay the ball like he did in Baltimore a year ago, but he moves around the golf course in an equally effective manner.

The reigning FedEx Cup champion is only 12 under and one stroke away from his good friend and playing competitor the first three days, Xander Schauffele, as well as Scott Stallings. A duel between the two men who have shared Presidents Cups, Ryder Cups, a Zurich Classic title and even holidays with their significant others feels like the one missing item in their friendship.

Similar in behavior and comparable from a statistical perspective, the two down-to-earth Americans will enter the final round as the top two names on both the standings and odds board at Caesars Sportsbook.

Still, it wasn’t that long ago that we saw this duo paired up in a final round. We only have to look back to the Travelers Championship where Schauffele was victorious while Cantlay was terrible. Victim of a 6-over 76, Cantlay took himself out of the fray early on Sunday, depriving golf fans of a possible back-and-forth fight between the two.

This time is inherently different as the stakes are higher and Schauffele will serve as the chaser. Cantlay starts the final round with a slight lead, marking his first 54-hole lead in about a year – the last event at last season’s Tour Championship. It was exactly at this tournament where Cantlay began his march to his FedEx Cup title when he dramatically defeated Bryson DeChambeau, and now he hopes to see Schauffele and Co. to dismantle en route to a similar run.

The leader

1. Patrick Cantlay (-12)

The wins have not been achieved like in 2021, but Cantlay is playing even better than a season ago. Without a solo win this season, the world No. 4 has been close several times, having lost in playoffs to Scottie Scheffler at the WM Phoenix Open and Jordan Spieth at the RBC Heritage.

Add to that a second-place finish at the Rocket Mortgage Classic, and in all, Cantlay has made the top-10 in half of his starts this season. Consistency is often not rewarded on the PGA Tour in the short term. In the long run, it’s a different story and there’s a real chance now that it will pay off in a big way for Cantlay.

Cantlay is expected to move up the FedEx Cup standings with a win over Wilmington CC, becoming the first man to not only successfully defend a postseason event, but also successfully defend a FedEx Cup crown. If Cantlay could complete that mission, he would rack up over $20 million in two weeks.

“I think in the bigger tournaments it might be easier to narrow your focus, and I’ve done a good job of staying in the moment and trying to get into the right frame of mind and good attitude,” Cantlay said. “I love this course. I love the grass it’s played on. I love bent grass, and this course is in really pure form. It was even better before they burned the greens.”

other contenders

T2. Xander Schauffele and Scott Stallings (-11)

T4. Adam Scott and Scottie Scheffler (-10)

T6. Collin Morikawa and Aaron Wijs (-9)

T8. Joaquin Niemann and Corey Conners (-8)

Players within four strokes of the lead must still believe they have a shot at raising the BMW Championship trophy. While Cantlay will be a hard-to-beat player, the Pursuers have a credible resume. Schauffele and Scheffler have taken the lead at several points during this championship, but it is Morikawa who took the biggest step on Saturday.

After a terrible performance on the greens in the second round, the two-time great champion was able to spot something in his putting stroke and put himself back into the fray. Morikawa, the only top-10 player in the Official World Golf Rankings to remain scoreless in the 2021-22 season, has signed a 6-under 65 and is looking for his first win in over a year. Despite this, he has taken his game in major championships and at big moments to the next level, speaking with what will be needed for his first title since the 2021 Open.

“I think you have to be patient. I think with how dry and how bouncy these greens get, you have to take advantage when you’re on the fairway and you have a good angle and a good number. But be patient,” Morikawa said of plans his game for the final round. “Obviously a lot of good rounds here, I think, have had a good start at the start of the round, and that’s key. But if it doesn’t happen, it doesn’t mean you can’t make birdies on say 8, 9, 10, 11, 12. It’s been a while — hopefully I’ll be within a few of the lead tomorrow and I’m looking forward to that. I’m excited.”

What Will Zalatoris’ WD Means For The Post-Season Finals

The winner of the St. Jude Championship came close to leading the FedEx Cup standings in the BMW Championship. Should withdraw halfway through the round on Saturday due to a back injury, Zalatoris’ departure makes way for another player to start at the top of the standings in the Tour Championship. This lead has proved crucial in recent years as the leader started the Tour Championship at 10 under. The FedEx Cup No. 2 starts at 8 under, then Zalatoris – who is currently expected to drop to No. 3 in the standings – will finish the week at 7 under.

Implications of the Tour Championship

Eyes will be drawn to the top of the leaderboard, but those hovering around the top 30 in the FedEx Cup leaderboard will also be of particular interest. With every shot having significant meaning, those at the bubble will be vying for a field seat at next week’s Tour Championship, where big paydays and big championship exemptions await.

“I just come out and try to win a golf tournament,” said Denny McCarthy, who is currently T10 at 7 under. “I’ve been close for a while. I think that mentality has worked well for me. I know I need to have a good finish. But winning is also a pretty good finish.”

Aaron Wise




Brian Harman




Adam Scott




Corey Conners




Denny McCarthy




Sahith Theegala




Davis Riley




JJ Spaun




Tom Kim




Shane Lowry 34 T18 1,147,877
KH Lee 35 T26 1,121.399

2022 BMW Championship Updated Odds, Picks

  • Patrick Cantlay: 23/10
  • Xander Schauffele: 33/10
  • Scottie Scheffler: 9/2
  • Scott Stables: 15/2
  • Adam Scott: 10-1
  • Collin Morikawa: 14-1
  • Aaron Wise: 20-1
  • Rory McIlroy: 35-1
  • Joaquin Niemann: 35-1
  • Corey Conners: 40-1

Fairways will be crucial on Sunday, and among those mentioned above, Morikawa and Conners lead the way in driving accuracy. Morikawa finally showed something with the putter on Saturday and is only three strokes ahead of Cantlay. While Cantlay is my pick to win the BMW championship, I wouldn’t be shocked if Morikawa is able to put the lead in the clubhouse and give him something to think about later.

The Valley Voice
The Valley Voicehttp://thevalleyvoice.org
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.


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