CHERRY HILLS VILLAGE, Colo. – With Billy Horschel taking a three-shot lead into the final round of the BMW Championship, here’s what you oughta know:
• Horschel, 27, won his first and only PGA Tour event at the Zurich Classic a year ago. This, however, marks just the second time he has slept on a 54-hole lead. He did so at the Valero Texas Open last year and ended up tying for third, with Martin Laird winning.
• Horschel is No. 1 in strokes gained putting this week. He came into the event ranked No. 100. He has a formidable ball-striking and short-game week going. He’s tied for third in hitting greens in regulation at Cherry Hills and in scrambling.
• If Horschel wins, he will catapult to No. 1 in the FedEx Cup standings going into the Tour Championship next week.
• The top five in the FedEx Cup standings going to the Tour Championship next week are guaranteed to win the $10 million jackpot if they win at East Lake. If the BMW Championship ends exactly the way the leaderboard is now, this is how the top five in the points standings will look:
1. Billy Horschel, 4,305.
2. Chris Kirk, 4,296.
3. Rory McIlroy, 3,662.
4. Bubba Watson, 3,433.
5. Hunter Mahan, 3,381.
Based on the projection, Horschel and Watson would bump Matt Kuchar and Jimmy Walker from the current top five.
• If the BMW Championship ends exactly the way the leaderboard is now, Ryan Palmer will be the only player from outside the FedEx Cup’s top 30 to crack the ceiling and earn a spot in next week’s Tour Championship. Palmer started the week No. 37 and would climb to No. 9 with his current second-place position in the tournament. Keegan Bradley, who withdrew from the BMW Championship Saturday morning, would be the only player to fall outside the top 30. He’s No. 28 but is projected to fall to No. 33 with his WD.
• Palmer, three shots back, has come from behind to win two of his three career PGA Tour titles. He came from five shots back to win his first event at the 2004 FUNAI Classic at Disney. He came from one shot back to win his second Tour event at the 2008 Ginn sur Mer Classic. He was tied for the lead when he won his third and last event at the 2010 Sony Open in Hawaii.