Power Rankings: 2015 BMW Championship

By Will GraySeptember 16, 2015, 3:38 pm

The 46th event of the season - and the third event of the postseason - is upon us, as the PGA Tour heads to Illinois for the BMW Championship. A field of 70 will tackle Conway Farms Golf Club, with the top 30 in the standings advancing to the Tour Championship next week.

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Billy Horschel won this event a year ago at Cherry Hills. Here are 10 players to watch outside Chicago:

1. Jim Furyk: Furyk enters with some form and now returns to a course where two years ago he shot 59. While he let the trophy slip away in 2013, he has a great chance to make amends on a course that clearly suits his game and following his T-4 finish at TPC Boston.

2. Henrik Stenson: An appropriate spot for the man who has finished second at each of the first two playoff events. Stenson was never really close at The Barclays, but he probably should have won two weeks ago in Massachusetts. Clearly in form, he'll look to improve on a T-33 finish here two years ago when he faded in the final round en route to a FedEx Cup win.

3. Jason Day: The struggles at TPC Boston were simply a blip for the man who is still the hottest player on Tour. Day had a strong showing at Conway Farms two years ago, finishing T-4 behind a final-round 66, and should again be on the leaderboard as he sets his sights on the world No. 1 ranking.

4. Rickie Fowler: Fresh off his victory at the Deutsche Bank Championship, Fowler again has renewed confidence at just the right time. Outside of a missed cut at The Barclays, Fowler has been playing well for the last six weeks and will get to walk stride-for-stride with Spieth and Day in the first two rounds.

5. Jordan Spieth: Spieth has officially hit a postseason funk, entering off of back-to-back missed cuts, but he should break out of that mini-slump with ease this week. Spieth finished T-16 at Conway Farms in 2013, highlighted by a second-round 65, and is unlikely to post a third straight dud.

6. Zach Johnson: Johnson rallied to victory at Conway in 2013, and he returns after opening the postseason with back-to-back top-25 finishes. Johnson finished T-4 at The Barclays and now has five top-10 finishes over his last nine starts.

7. Rory McIlroy: McIlroy again has the top spot in the world ranking, but he'll need to play well this week to keep it. Still mending his ankle, he was mired in the middle of the pack two weeks ago at TPC Boston. McIlroy struggled to get his footing at Conway two years ago, but did shoot a pair of 68s over the final two rounds.

8. Sergio Garcia: Beware the rested golfer. Garcia will be making his postseason debut after skipping the first two events, but he tends to play well at this leg of the playoffs regardless of venue. The Spaniard has never finished worse than T-24 in seven BMW starts, including a T-18 finish at Conway Farms two years ago.

9. Kevin Kisner: Already the best player this season without a win, Kisner has a great chance this week to break through after opening the playoffs with back-to-back top-20 results. While he is making his BMW debut, Kisner should thrive amidst the cozy confines of Conway Farms.

10. Matt Kuchar: Kuchar has been somewhat lurking in the background this season, but he certainly has the game for this course as evidenced by his 61 in the third round two years ago. After a T-9 finish in Boston, Kuchar has three top-10s in his last five starts.

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After Further Review: Tiger's return comes at perfect time

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 2:19 am

Each week, GolfChannel.com takes a look back at the week in golf. Here's what's weighing on our writers' minds.

On the current state of golf as Tiger Woods returns to competition ...

Less than four days before Tiger Woods returns to official competitive golf for the first time in a year, Jon Rahm, the new second-ranked player in the world, won on the PGA Tour and Rory McIlroy made an impressive 2018 debut on the European Tour (T-3).

Not since Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus crossed paths at the 1960 U.S. Open has there been so many superstars all poised for big seasons, with world No. 1 Dustin Johnson having already won this year and Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas both coming off stellar seasons.

It’s a good time for golf. - Rex Hoggard

On Tommy Fleetwood's continued success ...

There have been scores of talented European players whose skills didn’t translate to the PGA Tour … and maybe, in a few years, Tommy Fleetwood will prove to be no different.

He sure looks like the real deal, though.  

His title defense in Abu Dhabi – on the strength of a back-nine 30 in windy conditions – was his third title in the past 12 months and 11th top-10 overall. A few of those have come in majors and World Golf Championship events, too, which led the reigning Race to Dubai champion to accept PGA Tour membership for this season.

Beginning at Riviera, he plans to play exclusively in the States through May, then reassess for the rest of the year. Hope he sticks, because he’s a fun personality with tons of game. - Ryan Lavner

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Rahm passes Spieth to become world No. 2

By Nick MentaJanuary 22, 2018, 1:25 am

With his win Sunday at the CareerBuilder Challenge, Jon Rahm picked up his second PGA Tour victory and moved to No. 2 in the FedExCup points standings.

He picked up one more No. 2, too.

The 23-year-old Spaniard passed Jordan Spieth to move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking, behind only Dustin Johnson.

In 19 months, since June 2016, Rahm has rocketed from No. 776 in the world to No. 2, thanks in part to his low divisor, his number of events played.

Asked after his playoff victory over Andrew Landry to discuss his rapid ascent up the world rankings, Rahm was almost at a loss.

“It's hard to believe to be honest, passing Jordan Spieth,” he said. “That's a three-time major champion. I only have two wins. He's got 10-plus, right? It's again – I've said it many times – I never thought I was going to be at this point in my life right now.”

Rahm may only have two PGA Tour titles, but this is his fourth worldwide win in the last year, dating back to last season’s Farmers Insurance Open. He also took the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open and the DP World Tour Championship on his way to claiming the European Tour’s 2017 Rookie of the Year Award.

Dating back to the start of last season on the PGA Tour, Rahm has racked up 12 top-10s, three runner-ups, and two wins.

He will head to Torrey Pines next week ready to defend for the first time.

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Brady compares self to Woods after winning AFC title

By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 1:05 am

Tom Brady and Tiger Woods are two of the all-time greats in their respective sports ... a fact that is not lost on the five-time Super Bowl winning quarterback.

Fresh off leading the New England Patriots to a AFC Championship victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars, Brady was asked about winning the game despite a cut on his throwing hand - which made national news heading into the matchup.

His response invoked the name of a certain 14-time major winner, something that would be tough to pull off, if not for the fact that he is, you know, Tom Brady.

“I think it's kind of arrogant to say it bothered me when we had a pretty good game, so I wouldn't say that," the 40-year-old told reporters after the game. "It's like when Tiger Woods said, ‘That was my C game’ and he won the tournament."

Tiger Woods winning with his "C game" may be a distant memory for golf fans, but no matter what game he brings, his next chance to win comes next week at Torrey Pines during his official comeback to the PGA Tour.

Brady has a shot at his sixth Super Bowl title in two weeks. The Patriots would probably benefit from him bringing a little better than his "C game" as well.

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Rahm beats Landry in playoff to win CareerBuilder

By Nick MentaJanuary 22, 2018, 1:00 am

Jon Rahm birdied the fourth extra hole Sunday to defeat Andrew Landry in a playoff, win the CareerBuilder Challenge and move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking. Here’s how things played out in overtime at PGA West:

Leaderboard: Rahm (-22), Landry (-22), John Huh (-20), Adam Hadwin (-20), Martin Piller (-20), Kevin Chappell (-19), Scott Piercy (-19)

What it means: This is Rahm’s second PGA Tour win and his fourth worldwide victory in the last year, dating back to last season’s Farmers Insurance Open. Rahm took the early lead Thursday with an opening 62 and after rounds of 67-70, he started the final round two back. On Sunday, he made five birdies without dropping a single shot on the intimidating Stadium Course. In the clubhouse at 22 under, Rahm watched as Landry made birdie on 18 to force a playoff.

Rahm missed birdie putts that would have ended the tournament on the final hole of regulation and on each playoff hole. Finally, on his fourth trip down 18 of the day, his birdie bid found the cup. With the victory, Rahm passes Jordan Spieth to move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking, trailing only Dustin Johnson. He enters next week at Torrey Pines looking to defend for the first time.

Best of the rest: A two-time Web.com winner playing his second full season on the PGA Tour, Landry shot 68 Sunday, making birdie on the 72nd hole to force extras. Once Rahm finally made birdie on the fourth playoff hole, Landry's putt to extend slid by on the right edge. This is Landry's best career finish on the PGA Tour. Had he won, he would have secured full Tour status through the 2019-20 season and earned invites to the Masters, Players, and PGA Championships.

Round of the day: Sam Saunders fired an 8-under 64 to register this best finish of the season, a tie for eighth at 18 under. The reigning Web.com Tour Championship winner was 9 under par through 12 holes before making bogey at 13 and parring his way into the clubhouse.

Biggest disappointment: Overnight leader Austin Cook was eyeing his second win of the season but never contended. The RSM champion carded two double bogeys Sunday en route to a 3-over 75, dropping him from the 54-hole lead to a tie for 14th.

Shot of the day: Rahm's putt to win:

Quote of the day: "One of us had to do it and either one of us would have been a well-deserving champion." - Rahm on his playoff victory over Landry