It took Patrick Cantlay six playoff holes to defeat Bryson DeChambeau, grabbing an improbable win in the BMW Championship. The win gives him the lead in the FedEx Cup point standings heading into next week’s season-ending TOUR Championship at East Lake in Atlanta. It appeared to be DeChambeau’s tournament to win at several points over the weekend, including when he took a five-shot lead on Saturday and after Cantlay put his ball in the water on the par-three 17th hole on Sunday when he was already trailing by a shot.
Instead, DeChambeau failed to get up and down from the fringe, and Cantlay escaped with a bogey, then birdied the final hole of regulation to force extra holes. Cantlay’s 18-foot birdie putt on the last playoff hole sealed his third PGA Tour win of the season and the fifth of his career.
The victory was not only worth $1.71 million to Cantlay, but it moved him into the sixth and final qualifying spot for next month’s United States Ryder Cup team and gave him a two-shot edge heading into the TOUR Championship, with $15 million and the FedEx Cup going to the winner.
He had odds of +2200 to win the BMW Championship and will no doubt be among the top favorites in the TOUR Championship, considering his advantage at the outset.
The players at the top of the leaderboard weren’t the only stories of the weekend, as a number of PGA Tour professionals were battling to get into the top 30 in FedEx Cup points to qualify for the TOUR Championship. Entry into the TOUR Championship provides more than just the chance to play in another tournament and the opportunity to win the $15 million bonus that comes with a victory or the minimum of $395,000 in prize money.
All of the players that qualify to play at East Lake also gain entry into the Masters Tournament, the U.S. Open, the Open Championship, The Players Championship, and six other invitational tournaments throughout the PGA Tour season. By virtue of those exemptions, they will also likely qualify for the other major tournament, the PGA Championship.
Reed ended up finishing in the 30th spot without swinging a club in the BMW Championship, but his status for the TOUR Championship remains in doubt…
There were a number of players on the bubble throughout Sunday’s final round, including Patrick Reed, who is recovering from double pneumonia and an ankle injury. Reed ended up finishing in the 30th spot without swinging a club in the BMW Championship, but his status for the TOUR Championship remains in doubt, and he will not be replaced in the field if he can’t compete.
South African Erik van Rooyen continued his climb from 139th in the standings less than a month ago, finishing fifth and moving up to 27th to qualify for next week. Sergio Garcia had a rollercoaster round but got up and down from a greenside bunker on the 72nd hole to secure a spot in the TOUR Championship for the first time since 2017.
The two players that were displaced by van Rooyen and Garcia were Max Homa and Charley Hoffman, who have made the FedEx Cup playoffs every year they have been held. A couple of veterans to look out for at East Lake are Rory McIlroy, who finished fourth, and Dustin Johnson, who tied Garcia in sixth place and had his best finish since winning the Masters in November.