As the BMW Championship enters its second stage within the FedExCup Playoffs, all eyes are on the 50 players teeing off at the Olympia Fields Country Club's North Course, situated just outside Chicago.
The ultimate goal of this championship is securing a place within the top 30 ranks, ensuring a progression to the TOUR Championship. The TOUR Championship is distinct with its Starting Strokes format, which equalizes the competition based on each player's pre-tournament standing on the FedExCup standings. At the culmination of the 72 holes at East Lake, the individual boasting the lowest score (adjusted for handicap) will be crowned the FedExCup champion.
This feat of making it to the TOUR Championship offers a significant two-year exemption on the TOUR, coupled with an invitation to the illustrious 2024 Masters. Traditionally, exemptions into the U.S. Open and The Open are also attached to this achievement, although specific criteria for these tournaments in 2024 remain pending.
To underscore the magnitude of this achievement, the FedExCup champion is bestowed with a five-year TOUR exemption.
Emerging as the frontrunner at the TOUR Championship not only brings prestige but also a substantial $18 million FedExCup Bonus. Runners-up receive a notable $6.5 million, and even the players securing a place at East Lake are guaranteed a minimum payout of $500,000.
Undoubtedly, the stakes are high at Olympia Fields.
The FedExCup Playoffs encompass three events, with the initial two offering quadruple FedExCup points – a massive 2,000 to the winner – in contrast to a standard Regular Season event which awards 500 points to the champion. This adjustment accentuates the volatility in the standings as the week unfolds. The BMW Championship showcases a lucrative $20 million purse, with the victor of this no-cut event walking away with a handsome $3.6 million.
Among the players on the verge of breaking into the top 30 at the BMW Championship are Jordan Spieth at No. 27, Sam Burns at No. 30, Sahith Theegala at No. 31, and Justin Rose at No. 32.
In the previous week's FedEx St. Jude Championship, only two competitors managed to breach the top 50: Cam Davis, ascending from No. 62 to No. 45, and Hideki Matsuyama, climbing from No. 57 to No. 47. The question looms – how many will surge into the top 30 this week in Chicagoland?
Let's examine the minimum finishes required for players outside the top 30 to secure their advancement to the TOUR Championship.
(Note: With no cut this week, all players completing the full 72 holes are guaranteed a minimum of 50th-place points.)
Minimum Finishes Required to Qualify for TOUR Championship
Pos. Player Minimum Finish 31 Sahith Theegala Two-way T31 32 Justin Rose Solo-25th 33 Kurt Kitayama Solo-23rd 34 Denny McCarthy Solo-17th 35 Seamus Power Two-way T12 36 Lee Hodges Solo-12th 37 Adam Hadwin Two-way T10 38 Byeong Hun An Two-way T10 39 Adam Svensson Solo-9th 40 Matt Fitzpatrick Solo-8th 41 Andrew Putnam Two-way T7 42 Eric Cole Solo-7th 43 J.T. Poston Solo-7th 44 Brendon Todd Two-way T6 45 Cam Davis Solo-6th 46 Cameron Young Two-way T5 47 Hideki Matsuyama Three-way T4 48 Tom Hoge Three-way T4 49 Harris English Three-way T4 50 Patrick Rodgers Three-way T4