Patrick Cantlay just fell short in Memphis last week.
Cantlay overtook Lucas Glover and even forced a playoff at the FedEx St. Jude Championship to start the FedExCup Playoffs. But on the very first hole, Cantlay’s drive went in the water and his playoff extending putt was just inches off. That gave Glover the win.
While the finish was clearly disappointing, Cantlay did jump to fifth in the FedExCup standings. Now at the BMW Championship, where he is the two-time defending champion, Cantlay feels in a great place to make a move before next week.
“If we go into the final with the way the Tour championship is set up now, it’s very important to be as close to number 1 there as possible,” Cantlay said on Tuesday. “I’m happy to have put myself in a good place and hopefully improve in that place this week.”
Cantlay has not won a tournament since last year’s BMW Championship, although he has had a very solid season. He has only missed twice and has nine top-10 finishes. He comes in at number 4 this week in the Official World Golf Rankings.
The top 30 in the standings will move on to the Tour Championship after this week, the only staggered start to the season. As things stand, Jon Rahm would start at East Lake in Atlanta 10 under par with a two-shot lead over the rest of the field.
Rahm, who won four times this season, finished in T37 in Memphis last week. Rahm won the 2020 BMW Championship when it was also at Olympia Fields after sinking a putt over 60 feet on the first playoff hole.
“Even though I’m talking about maybe some of the best 36 holes I’ve ever played in a weekend, quote-unquote, bogey-free, minus the penalty on 5, but yeah, I’d say I’m in a lot of categories, and I think it shows in my performance since then,” Rahm said.
“I can’t tell you just one thing. I just feel like I’m able to — I’m a little bit better in certain departments that I wasn’t great at back then.
Here’s everything you need to know on your way to the BMW Championship:
Title: BMW Championship
Where: Olympia Fields Country Club | Olympia Fields, Illinois
Defending champion: Patrick Canlay
Total wallet: $20 million
Next week’s Tour Championship will have a staggered start, with the top ranked golfer opening the week 10 under par and two shots ahead of the rest of the field.
No. 1: Jon Rahm (3,386 points)
No. 2: Scottie Scheffler (3,238 points)
No. 3: Rory McIlroy (2,954 points)
No. 4: Luke Glover (2,885 points)
No. 5: Patrick Cantlay (2,643 points)
No. 6: Max Homa (2,451 points)
No. 7: Viktor Hovland (2,024 points)
No. 8: Wyndham Clark (1,957 points)
No. 9: Brian Harman (1,919 points)
No. 10: Tommy Fleetwood (1,834 points)
Tour Championship Bubble Watch
Only the top 30 in the FedExCup standings will qualify for next week’s Tour Championship.
No. 26: Tyrrell Hatton
No. 27: Jordan Spieth
No. 28: Sungjae Im
No. 29: Chris Kirk
No. 30: Sam Burns
– Top 30 qualify for Tour Championship –
No. 31: Sahith Theegala
No. 32: Justin Rose
No. 33: Kurt Kitayama
No. 34: Denny McCarthy
No. 35: Seamus Power
Other notable names outside the top 30 include Ben An, at number 38, Matt Fitzpatrick, at number 40, and Hideki Matsuyama, at number 47.
Ryder Cup qualification almost over
The qualification period for the US Ryder Cup team is almost over.
The window to automatically earn a spot on the US team for next month’s event in Italy ends after Sunday’s BMW championship concludes. The top six in the standings will make it, and then captain Zach Johnson will make his six picks to round out the 12-man squad.
Both Scottie Scheffler and Wyndham Clark have already qualified for the United States. Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm and Viktor Hovland have qualified for the European team. Their qualifying period runs through September 3.
While Patrick Cantlay and Brian Harman seem safe, there are several golfers in the field in Chicago who could make a big jump this week. Xander Schauffele is only about 20 points behind Max Homa, who goes into the week ranked No. 6 in the Ryder Cup standings, and Jordan Spieth is about 800 points behind. Both Cameron Young and Collin Morikawa are also within striking distance.
Collin Morikawa ‘very scared’ to return to Maui
Collin Morikawa has now qualified for the Sentry next season, but he is “very scared” of returning to Maui in January after the deadly and destructive wildfires there.
At least 99 people have been killed in the Maui wildfires since Tuesday, making them the deadliest in the United States in more than a century, according to The New York Times. Morikawa has several relatives who were born and raised on Maui, and his grandfather owned a family restaurant in Lāhainā, which has since been almost completely destroyed.
“Every year we used to walk past the store where the Morikawa restaurant was,” Morikawa said Tuesday. “I’m very scared. But I think if you’re scared, you should also take it a step further.”
Morikawa is donating $1,000 for every bird he makes to World Central Kitchen this week. He raised $17,000 for the Maui United Way last week.