Marc Leishman’s bid to be the first Australian to win the FedEx Cup on the US PGA Tour hits full tilt tomorrow as the BMW Championship begins at Conway Farms in Chicago.
Leishman is ranked seventh on the points list that is headed by Jordan Spieth as the top-70 slug it out in Chicago. He is virtually guaranteed of making the top-30 who will play the Tour Championship in Atlanta next week, but realistically he needs another strong finish in the BMW to stay in the mix with the likes of Spieth and Justin Thomas.
It is heady territory for the Australian, who has been our best player in 2017 with a win, five other top-10 finishes and more than $US4 million in prizemoney. His world ranking this week is a career-high 22nd, third among Australians behind Jason Day (9) and Adam Scott (21).
The 33-year-old is playing the best golf of his life.
The scenario for the two other Australians in the field this week is a little more scary. Day (ranked 28th on the FedEx Cup table) needs to finish in the top-30 in this tournament to ensure that he advances to Atlanta. While his form seems to be improving, Day acknowledges he has had a disappointing season thus far with no wins and just a handful of top-10 finishes.
As for Cameron Smith, who is 56th on the points table, he needs to fire quickly. Smith needs to finish in the top-four this week to advance, according to the calculations of the tour.
The top-30 who reach the Tour Championship at East Lake in Atlanta play for the FedEx Cup’s $US10 million bonus, won by Rory McIlroy last year.
Scott (fourth) and Day (sixth) were both in contention last year, while Day was third behind Spieth in 2015.
FEDEX CUP RANKINGS
1 Jordan Spieth
2 Justin Thomas
3 Dustin Johnson
4 Hideki Matsuyama
5 Jon Rahm
7 Marc Leishman
28 Jason Day
56 Cameron Smith