Patrick Cantlay came up short last week in Memphis.
Cantlay caught up to Lucas Glover and even forced a playoff at the FedEx St. Jude Championship to start the FedExCup playoffs. On the first hole, however, Cantlay’s drive tumbled into the water, and his putt was stopped to extend the putt by just inches. This made Glover win.
While the finale was clearly disappointing, it catapulted Cantlay to fifth place in the FedExCup standings. Now, in the BMW Championship, where he is the two-time defending champion, Cantlay thinks he’s in a great place to make a move ahead of next week.
“With the finish approaching the way the Tour Championship is set up now, it’s really important to be as close as possible to pole position,” Cantlay said on Tuesday. “I’m happy to put myself in a good place and hopefully I can get better at that place this week.”
Cantlay hasn’t won a championship since last year’s BMW Championship, although he’s had a very strong season. He only missed two poles and has nine top-10 finishes. He entered this week at number 4 in the Official World Golf Ranking.
The top 30 in the standings after this week will advance to the Tour Championship, which features the only stunning start to the season. The way things are now, East Lake Atlanta’s John Rahm will start at 10-less with a two-shot lead over the rest of the field.
The Ram, who has won four times this season, finished T37 last week in Memphis. Ram won the BMW Championship in 2020, when also at Olympia Fields, after sinking more than 60 feet on the first playoff hole.
“Although I’m talking about some of the best 36 holes I’ve ever played in a weekend, unquoted, bogey-free, minus the penalty in par 5, but yeah, I’d say I’ve improved on several and I think that shows on My achievements since then.
“I can’t tell you one thing exactly. I just feel like I can — I’m a little better in certain departments that I wasn’t very good at at the time.”
Here’s everything you need to know before you enter the BMW Championship:
Title: BMW Championship
where: Olympia Fields Country Club | Olympia Fields, Illinois
Title holder: Patrick Cantlay
Portfolio total: $20 million
Next week’s Tour Championship has a choppy start, as the top-ranked golfer will open the week at 10-under-par and two shots ahead of the rest of the course.
No. 1: John Rahm (3386 points)
No. 2: Scotty Scheffler (3,238 points)
No. 3: Rory McIlroy (2954 points)
No. 4: Lucas Glover (2885 points)
No. 5: Patrick Cantlay (2643 points)
No. 6: Max Homa (2451 points)
no. 7: Victor Hovland (2,024 points).
No. 8: Windham Clark (1957 points)
No. 9: Brian Harman (1919 points)
No. 10: Tommy Fleetwood (1,834 points)
Bubble Watch Championship Tour
Only the top 30 in the FedExCup standings will qualify for next week’s Tour Championship.
#26: Terrell 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: Sahih Thijala
#32: Justin Rose
No. 33: Kurt Kitayama
#34: Denny McCarthy
No. 35: Seamus Power
Other notable names outside the top 30 include Ben Ann at No. 38, Matt Fitzpatrick at No. 40 and Hideki Matsuyama at No. 47.
The Ryder Cup qualifiers are almost over
The qualification period for the US Ryder Cup team is almost over.
The window to win an automatic spot on the American team for next month’s event in Italy will end after the BMW Championship concludes on Sunday. The top six in the standings will qualify, then Captain Zack Johnson will make his six picks to complete the 12-man squad.
Scotty Scheffler and Windham Clark have already qualified for the US. Rory McIlroy, John Rahm and Victor Hovland qualified for the European team. Their qualification period runs through September 3.
While Patrick Cantlay and Brian Harman appear to be safe, there are several golfers on the course in Chicago who could make a big jump this week. Xander Schauffele is only about 20 points behind Max Homma, who enters the week sixth in the Ryder Cup standings, and Jordan Spieth is nearly 800 points behind. Cameron Young and Colin Morikawa are also within walking distance.
Colin Morikawa ‘too scared’ to return to Maui
Colin Morikawa is qualified to guard next season, but said he was “very afraid” of returning to Maui in January after the deadly and devastating wildfires.
At least 99 people have died in wildfires in Maui as of Tuesday, According to The New York Times, making it the deadliest in the United States in over a century. Morikawa has several family members who were born and raised on Maui, and his grandfather owned a family restaurant in Lahaina—which was almost completely destroyed by wildfires.
“Every year we always walked by the store that ended up where Morikawa’s restaurant is,” Morikawa said on Tuesday. “I am very afraid. But I think that with the feeling of fear, you also have to go upstairs.”
Morikawa is donating $1,000 for every bird he makes this week to World Central Kitchen. He raised $17,000 last week for Maui United Way.