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FedEx Cup Playoff Preview: BMW Championship

PGA TOURPreview – PGA Tour – FedEx Cup Playoffs – BMW Championship – Conway Farms Golf Club – Chicago, Illnois –

The PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup Playoffs heads to Chicago’s Conway Farms this week for the third-leg of the four-tournament series with just 70 qualified players able to participate.

There is no-cut this week with only the Top 30 in the FedEx Cup standings after this week advance to the TOUR Championship next week at East Lake in Atlanta.

The storylines are aplenty with Jason Day’s surge into the standings lead after a win at The Barclays. His PGA Championship victory positioned him for a run at the FedExFECupPlayoffs_Prf_6c_Pos [Converted] Cup and gave him the necessary momentum to ride the wave. Last year, it was Billy Horschel who caught fire with multiple wins in the playoffs to claim the cup.

World No. 1 Rory McIlroy starts for the second straight playoff event after skipping the opener. He rallied to close with a 66 knocking off the rust after a lengthy layoff.

Jordan Spieth, the headliner all season with two major victories, comes into the week after back-to-back missed cut. He finally hit the proverbial “wall” after a best season since Tiger Woods won five times a few years ago.

bmwchampDay and Spieth are grouped together Thursday in the opening round with Rickie Fowler, who captured the playoffs’ second-leg at the Deutsche Bank Championship in his last start. The trio tees off at 11:53 a.m. local time off No. 10.

While the goal is advance to the TOUR Championship for many, the contenders for the cup are shooting to remain in the Top 5 of the standings. The Top 5 heading into East Lake control their own fate with a chance to win the cup in Atlanta.

Sergio Garcia, 54th in the standings, is making his playoff debut after skipping the first two legs. Look for him and another international player like Henrik Stenson to make a move this week. Stenson, the 2013 FedEx Cup champion, enters with back-to-back runner-up finishes in the playoffs.

2014 Recap:

  • Horschel (14-under) won the title at Cherry Hills en route to his FedEx Cup Playoff run. Bubba was second at 12-under, while Morgan Hoffmann rallied with a 62-63 weekend to finish third. Sergio Garcia, Jim Furyk and Fowler were
    Rickie Fowler current official PGA TOUR headshot (Photo by: Chris Condon/PGA TOUR)

    Rickie Fowler current official PGA TOUR headshot
    (Photo by: Chris Condon/PGA TOUR)

    T-4.

The Golf Channel has exclusive television coverage Thursday and Friday for the opening rounds. NBC Sports handles the prime-time weekend action.

FANTASY:  After a week of rest, everyone should come in fresh. Take Jim Furyk, who shot 59 here in 2013 before settling for T-3. Furyk is a horses-for-courses player and Conway fits. He also have three Top 4s in his last five starts including T-4 at Deutsche Bank. Avoid Spieth until he gets out of his funk. He was T-16 here in 2013.

BETTING: Day was listed as the betting favorite at www.ladbrokes.com at 7-to-1 odds, followed by Rory (8-1) and Spieth (10-1). Bubba Watson, still in the Top of the standings, has been quiet in the playoffs and could be a sleeper with a 20-1 payoff. For the value, take Furyk at 20-1. Consider Phil Mickelson. Lefty would pay off at 66-1. He needs a solid week to advance to Atlanta. He always a moment away from everything WT_FULLCOLOR_PMS_POSclicking in his game.

Other Golf News:

  • The Web.com Tour Finals continues this week at the Chiquita Classic – the second leg of the four-tournament series. Golf Channel has the television coverage.
  • The European Tour hosts the 72nd Italian Open this week. Francesco Molinari is the betting favorite at 10-1 odds. The field also includes several past major
    Race to Dubai heats up

    Race to Dubai heats up

    champions including Martin Kaymer, Stewart Cink, Padraig Harrington and Y.E. Yang. Danny Willett is also competing. He is second in the European Tour’s Race to Dubai Standings.

  • The Solheim Cup tees Friday in Germany pitting the U.S. team against the Europeans. The 2013 ended with an 18-10 victory for Team Europe headlined by Caroline Hedwall. She enters this week with a 7-1-1 record after a 5-0 run in 2013. Paula Creamer, a captain’s pick this time around, is one of America’s most-experienced and successful players with a 12-6-5 record in seven cup appearances.