|BMW Championship - September 02, 2008
The Third of Four Playoff Events
Bellerive Country Club
St. Louis, MO
Par: 35-35—70Yards: 7,324
FedExCup Points: 100,000Winner: 11,000
Purse: $7,000,000Winner: $1,260,000
2007 Champion: Tiger Woods (262, -22)
BMW Championship Notes
Vijay Singh (tied for 48th) and Ernie Els (missed cut) are the only two players in this week's field who also competed in the 1992 PGA Championship won by Nick Price. Both players come into St. Louis in excellent form, with Singh having won the first two Playoff events and Els tying for third last week at the Deutsche Bank Championship.
Mike Weir, the runner-up last week at the Deutsche Bank Championship, was the defending champion of the World Golf Championships-CA Championship that was to be held at Bellerive Country Club in 2001 but was canceled due to the events of September 11. Weir won the 2000 CA Championship by two strokes over Lee Westwood at Valderrama Golf Club in Spain.
St. Louis resident and Bellerive Country Club member Jay Williamson is playing a home game this week. Williamson sits 60th in FedExCup points and safely earned a spot in the BMW Championship field despite missing the 54-hole cut last week at the Deutsche Bank Championship. Williamson’s best finish this season was a playoff loss to Kenny Perry at the John Deere Classic, where he began his run of strong play down the stretch heading into the PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup.
Vijay Singh, the winner of the first two Playoff events, looks to capture his third consecutive start for the second time in his career. In 2004, en route to nine victories, Singh won three straight (Deutsche Bank Championship, Bell Canadian Open and 84 LUMBER Classic).
Vijay Singh’s 34th PGA TOUR victory ties him with Phil Mickelson for 13th all-time on the PGA TOUR. He is two wins shy of No. 12 on the list, held by Lloyd Mangrum (36). Singh also collected his second career title at the Deutsche Bank Championship, in turn giving him multiple titles at six tournaments: The Barclays (four), Shell Houston Open (three), Buick Open (three), FBR Open (two), PGA Championship (two) and the Deutsche Bank Championship (two).
The Dubsdread Course at Cog Hill Golf and Country Club, located 30 miles southwest of Chicago and the site of the 2007 BMW Championship, is currently undergoing a re-design by Rees Jones in 2008. The tournament is scheduled to return to Cog Hill in 2009.
Following this week’s tournament, the PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup will observe a two-week break. The Ryder Cup will be held the week of September 15-21, along with the first event of the PGA TOUR Fall Series, the Viking Classic, with the final Playoff event, THE TOUR Championship presented by Coca-Cola, set for September 22-28 in Atlanta, GA, where the Playoffs champion will be crowned.
E NOTES FROM THE PGA TOUR
- The BMW Championship will return to Missouri for the first time since 1953 when this week’s event gets underway at Bellerive. This will be the sixth time the tournament has been held in Missouri with the last time coming at the old Bellerive CC in ’53.
- This will be the first PGA TOUR co-sponsored event in Missouri since the 1973 St. Louis Children’s Hospital Classic won by Gene Littler.
- The BMW Championship had been played in Illinois since 1962, but prior to that, it was played in 16 different states.
- No less than 24 different World Golf Hall of Fame members have won the BMW Championship.
- Vijay Singh became the second player to pass the $60 million mark in career earnings with his victory last week at the Deutsche Bank Championship while Phil Mickelson became the third to hit the $50 million mark after a T73 finish.
- One more on Singh: Since turning 40 on Feb. 22, 2003, Singh has won 22 PGA TOUR titles and has had 80 Top-10 finishes. If you just took his wins since turning 40, Singh would still rank T27 on the all-time list.
- How tough is it to win back-to-back events in the PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup? Consider that only three players other than Vijay Singh have finished in the Top-10 in each of the first two events—Sergio Garcia (T2-T5), Mike Weir (T7-2) and Justin Leonard (T7-T7).
- Three players who started the PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup outside the Top 120 have advanced to the BMW Championship—Tim Herron (133rd to 48th), Martin Laird (128th to 61st) and Angel Cabrera (131st to 70th).
- The Nationwide Tour will be well represented this week at the third event in the PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup with 41 former players qualifying for the 70-man field.
- This week’s Utah Championship presented by Zion’s Bank will be the 10th since the tournament joined the Tour back in 1999.
- Maybe this will be the week that defending champ Franklin Langham regains his form. After winning last year’s Utah Championship, Langham has struggled all season long in 2008. He has enjoyed great success in Utah, though. In addition to winning this event last year, he’s also finished T2 (2004) and T6 (2003). He also finished T2, losing in a playoff at a previous Utah event that is no longer on the schedule.
- Here’s an oddity. Through the first 22 events of the season, no tournament had co-leaders entering the final round. That ended this past week at the Walmart First Tee Open at Pebble Beach when four players shared the lead heading into Sunday.
- When Jeff Sluman won last week’s stop at the Walmart First Tee Open at Pebble Beach, it was his second win of the season and it marked the first time in Sluman’s PGA TOUR/Champions Tour career that he has posted multiple wins in a season.
- Phil Blackmar finished in a T4 at last week’s Walmart First Tee Open at Pebble Beach for his best start to date on the Champions Tour. It was also his best finish since winning the 1997 Shell Houston Open.