Draws and Fades will feature reviews from notables including Hideki Matsuyama, Billy Horschel, Shane Lowry and Cameron Young.
The middle leg of the Playoffs reserves space for 70 golfers, with the top 30 moving on to the season-closing TOUR Championship in Atlanta at the end. However, Cameron Smith has withdrawn due to a injured hip and Tommy Fleetwood (personally) has not committed, so the field in Wilmington is 68 deep. In third place in the FedExCup, Smith will survive to compete in the finals, but Fleetwood’s season is officially over. He is currently 56th in points.
Robert Trent Jones, Sr., designed the South Course over 60 years ago. Today it is a par 71 that can stretch 7,534 meters. How the routes for the BMW championship differ from the walk experienced by members. This produces an unusual par-5-3-5-3 stretch on holes 12-15.
The Palmer Cup was held here in 2013. Justin Thomas is the only BMW Championship qualifier to compete in that amateur team competition, but that was nine years ago and the track has at least undergone major renovations since then. Therefore, keep in mind that there is no useful competition experience in the game this week.
When a new challenge is presented, ball strikers are taken advantage of. Seeing targets and hitting targets plays everywhere, but greens require experience to master the putter. Wilmington CC’s area averages 8,000 square feet, but they were firmly and reasonably protected by similarly sized bunkers. With fairways resembling ribbons in places and the primary rough starting at four inches high, the game is tee-to-green.
Within a day or two, and depending on the location of the holes, the field will find the pulse of the bentgrass greens, and because of their size, guys who rely on the flat stick will enter the chat. Speeds hit 12½ feet on the Stimpmeter.
There is no cut, so anyone who knocks it down is promised 72 holes. This makes it more difficult to advance to the final, but it is never impossible. In the previous two editions of the current points structure (2019, 2021), five golfers have risen in the top 30 with strong performances at the BMW Championship.
Aside from a threat of rain over the weekend, the weather should cooperate for everyone. Seasonal warm and dry conditions last through Saturday. Daytime temperatures rise into the mid-80s. Wind should be a non-factor.
In addition to a chance to be crowned the 16th FedExCup champion next week at East Lake, anyone who finishes in the top 30 at the end of the BMW Championship will be ready to earn waivers for the 2023 editions of the Masters, US Open and The Open Championship. Those are traditional benefits for generating the best seasons on the PGA TOUR and timely appearances in the Playoffs.
ROB BOLTON’S SCHEDULE
Rob Bolton of PGATOUR.com summarizes each tournament and looks at it from different perspectives. Look for his next contributions as planned.
MONDAY: power classification
TUESDAY*: Sleepers, Draws & Fades
WEDNESDAY: Choose them Example
SUNDAY: Qualifiers, Recast, Rookie Ranking
* – Rob is on the panel for PGATOUR.COM’s Expert Picks for PGA TOUR Fantasy Golf, also to be published on Tuesday.