2014 BMW Championship Preview: Leaderboard
THERE are eight Aussie golfers teeing up in the penultimate event of the 2014 FedEx Cup Playoff Series this week and you could mount a good case for just about any one of them to win the BMW Championship in Colorado.
Jason Day has been T2 and T7 in the first two events with just the final day backends letting him down, Adam Scott has been lurking without being spectacular, Geoff Ogilvy had a great weekend ….. even Appleby has shown some of the old fire.
The others – Marc Leishman, John Senden, Steve Bowditch and Matt Jones – all have their cases.
Day has clearly been the most consistently close to winning in the final series, and has the most “experts” backing him to win his week at the historic Cherry Hills Golf Club in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado.
The 26 year old world No.6 is also becoming a little peeved at continually being pipped at the post in big events – apart of course from his win at the World Cup in Royal Melbourne last year and his WGC Matchplay win at the start of the season.
“There is no doubt the last round [of the second event] was disappointing and I expected a lot more out of myself than the finish I produced,” Day told AAP this week.
“It has been a pretty good year considering I have played just 13 events and I am seventh on the FedEx Cup (season points) list but I am very motivated to do more,” he said.
“I am doing everything I can, practising as much as I can, because I feel like I am ready to go out there and win.”
Now fully fit after losing much of the year because of a thumb injury, Day has revived his long-held dream of claiming golf’s No.1 ranking.
“I am starting to believe more in myself and I guess I am playing a little bit of catch up because I was very confident I could have had a real shot at No.1 in the world if I wasn’t injured,” he said.
“The fire is in me, I want it, and I am convincing myself I am ready to win events and get back towards that goal.
“I am not going to give up. I am fit now and I am going to put every last bit I have into these two weeks.”
Scott has flown a little under the radar but despite not being at his absolute best has still finished T15 and T16 in the first two events. Currently ranked 15th in the FedEx standings, he’s eyeing at least moving into the top five so a win next week at the Tour Championship would guarantee the US$10 million FedEx Cup bonus.
“I just need some putts to drop and some momentum to come to get me going,” Scott said in Colorado. “I feel like my game is in really good shape but I am just lacking some positive momentum in rounds. The way I see it, two good weeks is not a lot to ask out of myself. My game is right there so I don’t think I am asking a lot to have two big performances and win it all.”
Cherry Hill Golf Club
The Cherry Hills Golf Club near Denver will be hosting what is the second-oldest US PGA Tour event on a course that hasn’t hosted the best players in the world since the 1985 PGA Championship.
Long thought of as a “second-shot” golf course, where accurate approach shots can make or break a round, Cherry Hills also plays at altitude, which could lead to longer ball flight and more aggressive play.
The course, completed in 1923, is a classic design with defenses against long drives. Fairway bunkers are angled to infringe upon the fairway as one gets farther from the tee. Some severely sloped greens require players to put the ball in the fairway in order to control their approach shots.
“This course doesn’t really allow you to hit it that far,” another favourite in Rory McIlroy said this week. “There’s not many opportunities where you can just hit driver and see how far it goes. You really need to place the ball in fairway here.”
That being said , McIlroy hit a 3-wood 370 yards in Wednesday’s pro-am. He reached the 526-yard, par-4 fifth hole with 3-wood and 8-iron. The general rule is that the ball travels 10 percent farther here than at sea level.
Live coverage on Fox Sports begins Friday 6am to 10am.
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