Horses for Courses: BMW Championship 2020

The BMW Championship put the North Course at Olympia Fields back into the spotlight.

For the second consecutive season the BMW Championship roars into Chicago to determine the field for the TOUR Championship at one of iconic, classic tracks in this golf-mad city. Olympia Fields County Club’s North Course will provide the final 72 holes of examination for the top 70 players to determine the top 30 who will advance to The TOUR Championship next week at East Lake outside Atlanta.

Last year it was Tom Bendelow’s “Monster”, course No. 3 at Medinah in the northwest suburbs where Justin Thomas eviscerated the rain-soaked track to the tune of 25-under. This season the 70 best head to the south suburbs for Willie Park’s 1925 classic North Course. Stretching to 7,366 the Par-70 (35-35) will provide only 20 (!!) acres of fairway protected by 85 bunkers and four-plus inches of Kentucky bluegrass rough. Butterfield Creek circumnavigates the property and is available on half of the holes. The putting surfaces are 6,000 square feet on average and the Bent/poa greens should be able to push 13 feet on the Stimpmeter due to the dry month of August.

Olympia Fields was last on the professional radar for the 2003 U.S. Open but it did host the 2015 U.S. Amateur Championship that Bryson DeChambeau won. The club has also hosted the 1928 U.S. Open along with PGA Championships (1925, 1961), KPMG Women’s Championship (2017), U.S. Senior Open (1997) plus five editions of the Western Open.

Recent Winners at Olympia Fields

2015: U.S. Amateur Championship – Bryson DeChambeau

Notables: Jon Rahm – eliminated in the quarterfinals. … Maverick McNealy and Robby Shelton lost in the Round of 16. … Scottie Scheffler and Collin Morikawa both missed the cut.

2017: KPMG Women’s PGA Championship – Danielle Kang

Maverick McNealy’s current girlfriend brought home the major title and should have plenty of angles on what it takes to get it done around here. Combined that with McNealy’s run at the 2015 U.S. Amateur and there’s an interesting angle. He’ll need all the help he can get at No. 67 as he’ll need a podium finish to book his ticket to Atlanta!

2003: U.S. Open – Jim Furyk (-8)

Wet and cool early in the week, the notoriously accurate player was joined by Vijay Singh in setting the 36-hole scoring record on seven-under. … Furyk went on to become the first player to reach 10-under in any U.S. Open before winning comfortably by three for his first and only major championship. … Led the field in GIR.

Notables: Only four players finished under-par. … Singh signed for 63, T-lowest in major history at the time and posted 29 on the back in Round 2. … Singh’s 63 is still the course record. … Winds picked up on the weekend as Tiger closed 75-72 while Singh fired 72-78 as they shared T20. … Charles Howell III posted T53 while Adam Scott and Paul Casey MC. … 46-year old Nick Price and 53-year old Tom Watson both posted 65s during the week.

Key stat leaders

Top golfers in each statistic on the 2019-2020 PGA TOUR are listed only if they are scheduled to compete this week.

 * – Previous FedExCup event winner

Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green

 1  *Justin Thomas

 2  Hideki Matsuyama

 3  Collin Morikawa

 4  *Rory McIlroy

 5  *Xander Schauffele

 7  Jon Rahm

 8  *Bryson DeChambeau

 9  Tony Finau

10 Patrick Cantlay

11 Daniel Berger

13 *Webb Simpson

14 Russell Henley

15 Tyrrell Hatton

16 Harris English

17 Scottie Scheffler

18 *Dustin Johnson

19 Corey Conners

20 *Jason Day

21 Viktor Hovland

22 Paul Casey

23 Joaquin Niemann

24 *Patrick Reed

Strokes-Gained: Putting

 4  *Matt Kuchar

 5  Kevin Na

 7  *Bryson DeChambeau

10 Maverick McNealy

12 Daniel Berger

12 *Webb Simpson

14 *Patrick Reed

15 Kevin Kisner

16 Harris English

17 JT Poston

18 *Billy Horschel

19 Mackenzie Hughes

22 Richy Werenski

23 Jon Rahm

 Bogey Avoidance

1  *Webb Simpson

 2  Harris English

 3  *Xander Schauffele

 4  Russell Henley

 5  Jon Rahm

 6  *Bryson DeChambeau

 7  *Justin Thomas

 8  Daniel Berger

 9  Abraham Ancer

12 Tyrrell Hatton

14 Brendon Todd

15 Brian Harman

18 *Adam Scott

19 Paul Casey

23 Gary Woodland

24 Hideki Matsuyama

25 Kevin Kisner

FedExCup Playoff Wins (entered this week)

Dustin Johnson (5)

Rory McIlroy (5)

Tiger Woods (4)

Justin Thomas (2)

Patrick Reed (2)

Bryson DeChambeau (2)

Jason Day (2)

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