Golf Glance: FedEx Cup race heats up in Chicago

Field Level Media
We may earn a commission from links on this page.
Apr 20, 2023; Avondale, Louisiana, USA; Patrick Cantlay reacts to a tee on the first hole during the first round of the Zurich Classic of New Orleans golf tournament.
Apr 20, 2023; Avondale, Louisiana, USA; Patrick Cantlay reacts to a tee on the first hole during the first round of the Zurich Classic of New Orleans golf tournament.
Image: Andrew Wevers-USA TODAY Sports

Field Level Media's Golf Glance provides weekly news and storylines from each of the major North American golf tours.


LAST TOURNAMENT: FedEx St. Jude Championship (Lucas Glover)

THIS WEEK: BMW Championship, Olympia Fields, Ill., Aug. 17-20

Course: Olympia Fields Country Club (Par 70, 7,366 yards)

Purse: $20M (Winner: $3.6M)

Defending Champion: Patrick Cantlay

FedEx Cup leader: Jon Rahm


TV: Thursday-Friday, 2-6 p.m. ET (Golf Channel); Saturday, 1-3 p.m. (GC), 3-6 p.m. (CBS); Sunday, 12-2 p.m. (GC), 2-6 p.m. (CBS)


Streaming (ESPN+): Thursday-Sunday, 9:15 a.m.-6 p.m.

Twitter: @BMWchamps

NOTES: The top 50 players in the FedEx Cup standings after last week's playoff opener qualified for the BMW. At the conclusion of the tournament, the top 30 players in points will make it to the season-ending Tour Championship. ... Glover's second win in as many weeks catapulted him to fourth in the standings, behind only Rahm, Scheffler and McIlroy. Cantlay, who fell to the 43-year-old Glover in a playoff, moved up to fifth. ... Cantlay is the two-time defending champion of the BMW, albeit at two different courses: Caves Valley in 2021 and Wilmington Country Club in 2022. ... The BMW returns to Olympia Fields for the first time since 2020, when Rahm drained a 65-foot putt to beat Dustin Johnson in a playoff. Johnson had made a 45-footer to force the playoff. ... Sam Burns enters the week in the No. 30 spot, while Sahith Theegala is first man out at No. 31. Notable names around the bubble include Tyrrell Hatton (No. 26), Jordan Spieth (No. 27), Sungjae Im (No. 28) and Justin Rose (No. 32). Matt Fitzpatrick (No. 40) and Hideki Matsuyama (No. 47) will need strong finishes to jump into the top 30.


BEST BETS: McIlroy (+700 at BetMGM) used a final-round 65 last week to finish tied for third, one off the pace of Glover and Cantlay. That extended his streak of eight top-10 finishes, starting way back at the PGA Championship. ... Scheffler (+700) is the co-favorite with McIlroy despite the end of his own streak of dominance. He had finished in the top 12 of 18 straight official events, and seven straight in the top five, before tying for 23rd at The Open Championship and tying for 31st last week. ... Rahm (+1000) not only won the last time the tour came to Olympia Fields, he had a bogey-free, 6-under 64 in the final round. He tied for 37th last week but has a win and two second-place finishes since April. ... Cantlay (+1000) will be a popular pick to three-peat after his narrow miss at the St. Jude. Three of his past four wins on tour have come at playoff events. ... Viktor Hovland (+1600) hasn't cracked the top 10 of an event since winning the Memorial Tournament in June, but he tied for 13th last week after finishing with rounds of 64, 65 and 69. ... Tommy Fleetwood (+2200) may have never won on North American soil, but starting with his sudden-death playoff loss at the Canadian Open, he has five top-10s and four top-six finishes in six starts, including T3 last week. ... Tony Finau (+4000) may be coming off a 64th-place finish at the St. Jude, but the last time the BMW was played at Olympia Fields he placed fifth. He's won a playoff event once before, the 2021 Northern Trust.

NEXT WEEK: Tour Championship, Atlanta, Aug. 24-27


LAST TOURNAMENT: AIG Women's Open (Lilia Vu)

THIS WEEK: ISPS Handa World Invitational, Antrim, Northern Ireland, Aug. 17-20

Course: Galgorm Castle Golf Club (Par 72, 6,402 yards) and Castlerock Golf Club (Par 73, 6,546 yards)

Purse: $1.5M (Winner: $225,000)

Defending Champion: Maja Stark

Race to the CME Globe leader: Celine Boutier


TV: Thursday-Friday, 8 a.m.-1 p.m. ET (Golf Channel); Saturday, 7:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. (GC); Sunday, 6 a.m.-11:30 a.m. (GC)


Streaming (Peacock): Thursday-Friday, 8 a.m.-1 p.m. ET; Saturday, 7:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.; Sunday (6-11:30 a.m.)

Twitter: @World_Inv_Golf

NOTES: This event, now in its third year, is co-sanctioned by the DP World Tour and Ladies European Tour, with 144 men and 144 women playing in concurrent competitions for equal prize money. ... The women will play each course once over the first two days before the rest of the tournament is played at Galgorm Castle. There are two cuts — after the second and third rounds — leaving just the top 35 players plus ties to play the final 18 holes on Sunday. ... Stark shot a 10-under 63 in her final round to win last year. ... Irishwoman Leona Maguire, No. 14 in the Rolex Rankings, is the highest-ranked player in the field. ... Among those taking the week off is Lilia Vu. The new World No. 1 won the AIG Women's Open to become the first American woman since Juli Inkster (1999) to win two majors in a calendar year.


NEXT TOURNAMENT: CPKC Women's Open, Vancouver, Aug. 24-27

PGA Tour Champions

LAST TOURNAMENT: Boeing Classic (Stephen Ames)

THIS WEEK: Shaw Charity Classic, Calgary, Alberta, Aug. 18-20

Course: Canyon Meadows Golf & Country Club (Par 70, 7,086 yards)

Purse: $2.4M (Winner: $360,00)

Defending Champion: Jerry Kelly

Charles Schwab Cup leader: Steve Stricker


TV/Streaming: Friday, 4-6 p.m. ET (Peacock), 9-11 p.m. (Golf Channel — Tape delay); Saturday-Sunday, 4-7 p.m. (GC)


Twitter: @ShawClassic

NOTES: Ames is the top Canadian in the field of Canada's only Champions Tour stop. He is coming off his fourth win of 2023 last week and has moved to third in the Schwab Cup race. ... Kelly defeated John Huston in a playoff to win last year. ... Stricker is taking another week off. With five victories this year, Stricker has won $3,593,060 — more than double Bernhard Langer, who is second on the Schwab Cup money list. ... After this week, six tournaments remain before the Schwab Cup playoffs begin.


NEXT TOURNAMENT: The Ally Challenge, Grand Blanc, Mich., Aug. 25-27

LIV Golf League

LAST TOURNAMENT: LIV Golf Bedminster (Individual: Cameron Smith; Team: Ripper GC)



Season Leaders: Individual, Smith; Team, 4Aces GC

NEXT TOURNAMENT: LIV Golf Chicago, Rich Harvest Farms, Ill., Sept. 22-24

—Field Level Media