|BMW Championship - September 08, 2009
The Third of Four Playoff Events
Cog Hill Golf and Country Club (Dubsdread)
Par: 36-35—71Yards: 7,616
Winner's FedExCup Points Share: 2,500
Purse: $7,500,000Winner: $1,350,000
2008 Champion: Camilo Villegas (265, -15)
Villegas’ Strong Finish to 2008 Campaign
Began at BMW Championship
The third event in the PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup is this week, as the TOUR returns to the Chicago area for the BMW Championship. Last year’s tournament was held at Bellerive Country Club near St. Louis, where Camilo Villegas won his first TOUR title. A week later, Villegas added victory No. 2—at THE TOUR Championship presented by Coca-Cola.
This week’s tournament at Cog Hill Golf and Country Club’s Dubsdread Course in Lemont is the first of three consecutive BMW Championships slated for the Chicago area.
A year ago, Villegas opened with a 1-under 65 and never relinquished his lead, maintaining one-stroke advantages through 18, 36 and 54 holes before finally grabbing a two-stroke win over Dudley Hart.
While Villegas has yet to win in 2009, he has already secured a spot on The Presidents Cup International Team. His best finish was a tie for third at the Buick Invitational. He also has two other top 10s.
BMW Championship Notes
First held in 1899, the BMW Championship is the second-oldest U.S. tournament on the PGA TOUR behind only the U.S. Open. Of all the World Golf Hall of Fame members who have won this event, Gene Sarazen leads with five victories. Billy Casper and Walter Hagen each won four times. Ralph Guldahl and Tom Watson had three wins, followed by Lloyd Mangrum, Ben Hogan, Sam Snead, Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Nick Price, who each won twice.
His victory at the 2008 BMW Championship was also Camilo Villegas’ first PGA TOUR title. It came in his 86th career start. The win also gave Villegas the distinction of being the first Colombian-born player to win on the PGA TOUR.
Camilo Villegas’ wire-to-wire victory at the BMW Championship was just the second such win of the 2008 campaign. Villegas joined K.J. Choi, winner of the Sony Open in Hawaii, as the only two players to lead from start to finish. Dating to 1934, the only wire-to-wire winners (no ties) besides Villegas at this tournament are Nick Price (1993) and Tiger Woods (2003).
Camilo Villegas became the 15th player to win his first PGA TOUR event at the BMW Championship. The others: Abe Espinosa (1928), Herman Barron (1942), Hugh Royer (1970), Jim Jamieson (1972), Tom Watson (1974), Scott Simpson (1980), Scott Verplank (1985, as an amateur), D.A. Weibring (1987), Jim Benepe (1988), Russ Cochran (1991), Steve Stricker (1996), Joe Durant (1998), Stephen Ames (2004) and Trevor Immelman (2006).
Three players—Steve Stricker, Camilo Villegas and Tim Clark—have posted top-10s at both of the BMW Championships during the FedExCup era (2007-08).
Tiger Woods is a four-time winner of the BMW Championship (1997, 1999, 2003 and 2007) and has eight top-10s in 10 career BMW Championship starts as a professional.
At the 2008 BMW Championship, Dudley Hart and D.J. Trahan moved inside the top-30 on the FedExCup points list to play their way into THE TOUR Championship presented by Coca-Cola. Those dropping out of the top 30 were Geoff Ogilvy and Brandt Snedeker.
Seven players recorded all four rounds in the 60s at the 2008 BMW Championship: Camilo Villegas, Dudley Hart, Anthony Kim, Stephen Ames, Hunter Mahan, Tim Clark and Lucas Glover.
Despite the 70-player field this week, numerous past Champions are in the field, including defending champion Camilo Villegas. Other former BMW Championship winners still vying for the FedExCup are Scott Verplank (won in 1985), Steve Stricker (1996), Tiger Woods (1997, 1999, 2003 and 2007), Robert Allenby (2000), Jerry Kelly (2002), Stephen Ames (2004) and Jim Furyk (2005).