THE US PGA Tour Playoff series is down to its third event and just 70 players. It’s crunch time for Aussie golfers such as Adam Scott and Greg Chalmers.
From here only 30 progress to the Tour Championship in a fortnight and the certainty of not just a healthy paycheck for all involved but for many invitations to Majors and other benefits.
Once again most focus will be on the Rory McIlroy – Tiger Woods battle and fittingly the two will be grouped together, along with Nick Watney, for the first two rounds at the Crooked Stick Golf Club in Indiana.
McIlroy’s win in Boston last weekend saw him snatch the top FedEx Cup ranking spot with Watney second and Woods third.
“It definitely creates some more interest for the fans and for golf in general,” McIlroy said this week. “I don’t see any challenge in it. I mean, I think it’s just good fun. It’s good fun to be out there and have such an atmosphere and such a buzz around a grouping like that, and it’s just nice to be a part of it.”
What’s important for those at the top of the rankings this week is to finish at least in the top five of the FedEx rankings.
That way they get to “choose their own destiny” as they say in the Tour Championship. Finish outside the five and they will be reliant on how others perform.
Mathematically, 19 of the top 30 Tour Championship places have already been taken and that doesn’t include any of the five Aussies still alive in the series. They are in a battle for the 11 remaining places with 45 other golfers.
Adam Scott and John Senden are the best placed thanks to their strong finishes on Tuesday at the Deutsche Bank Championship. They need to finish inside the top 39 golfers to continue on to Atlanta.
Marc Leishman and Greg Chalmers need to finish in the top 6 to progress while Geoff Ogilvy needs a repeat of his heroics last year when he needed to finish at least third and managed the task. This time he only needs to finish in the top four.
“Whatever the scenario turns out to be it comes down to one thing, I have to play well,” Ogilvy said. “I have been playing well but now I need to score better.
“I’m just not getting the scores out of my good play which is a little frustrating and something I’ll have to look at in the offseason but I remain positive because the game is in good shape. I am playing well enough to get it done.”
Chalmers is staring what would be a major career milestone in the face.
A good performance this weekend would mean invitations to the US Master, US Open, British Open and other marquee events next year. Chalmers has played only three of the last 33 Major championships and just nine in his 16 year professional career.
“I have everything to gain,” the lefty said this week. “Knowing I need top six actually makes it easier in that you just have to play great.
“I think it would be harder if I had to finish in the top 30 because you’d probably play with half a handbrake on for most of the week.
“I have been on the cusp all year whether it be top 50 in the world or now top 30 for this so something good could happen and I’m looking forward to the chance. It is a big basket of goodies at the end of the rainbow.”
The 2012 BMW Championship will be telecast live in Australia on Fox Sports beginning Friday 5am – 8am.
2012 BMW Championship Leaderboard2012 BMW Championship Leaderboard 2012 Live Projected FedExCup Points