One of two men to qualify for each edition of the FedEx Cup Playoffs, Adam Scott’s journey to the top of the 2022 BMW Championship standings has been an unconventional one. Entering the postseason safely in the bubble, the Aussie secured his third top-five finish of the season at the St. Jude Championship to extend his postseason and roll into the Philadelphia area to play house money .
He put those chips to good use in the first two rounds at the Wilmington Country Club. Scott commands the solo lead at 8 in front of several big names. The former Masters champion, who signed for rounds of 65-69, was the only man to hit double digits under par, although a double bogey on his 17th hole on Friday saw his lead drop from three in one shot .
In the end it can get expensive. Just behind Scott at 7 under are Scottie Scheffler, Cameron Young, Corey Conners and Jordan Spieth. Scheffler is arguably Player of the Year; Young Rookie of the Year; Conners is one of the best ball forwards on the tour; and Spieth the ultimate wild card, making him almost the most dangerous of them all.
Just one punch behind them is an equally scary group of pursuers, including defending champion Patrick Cantlay and two-time FedEx Cup champion Rory McIlroy, both of whom have carded consecutive rounds of 67.
But to say that this tournament will come down to this small group would be irresponsible; half the field is currently within six strokes of the lead. With 36 holes to play, the BMW Championship, designed to mirror the drama of the St. Jude Championship, remains a game for everyone.
1. Adam Scott (-9)
The 42-year-old only sought out the major tournaments in 2022, playing mainly in invitational events and major championships. However, the end of his game schedule was intentional as he competed in the Rocket Mortgage Classic and the Wyndham Championship in preparation for a playoff push. It turned out to be a good idea; Scott is expected to move up to third place in the FedEx Cup standings with a win at Wilmington CC. Although it has been some time since he has competed, the way he has been able to wield the broomstick not just in two rounds but throughout the year should inspire confidence in the leader.
“I felt really in control today. Playing that way, it could always be a few better, and a bad shot on 17 was pretty costly,” Scott said. “It’s a good reminder for the weekend that I really need to keep it under control and don’t want too many to go off the map and get out of position here. But I held it in place really well all day and looked so good and was out there for a while. But I’m in great shape going into the weekend. I don’t even know the last time I refereed a tournament.”
T2. Scottie Scheffler, Cameron Young, Jordan Spieth and Corey Conners (-7)
T6. Cam Davis, Scott Stallings, Xander Schauffele, Rory McIlroy and Patrick Cantlay (-6)
T11. Aaron Wise, Joaquin Niemann, Hideki Matsuyama, Harold Varner III, Kurt Kitayama and Shane Lowry (-5)
The man who topped the FedEx Cup leaderboard in the postseason had work to do if he wanted to return to the top ahead of the Tour championship. Scheffler, playing alongside good friend and current FedEx Cup leader Will Zalatoris, is expected to reclaim first place and start leading next week in East Lake.
While it’s become routine to see Scheffler’s name above everyone else, this summer hasn’t been without its hiccups. He went into the week without a missed cut at the St. Jude Championship, where he looked lost with putter in hand. This was a common theme in Scheffler’s poor performances. He has lost shots on the greens in seven of his last nine starts, including his last four tournaments. At halftime, the Masters champion is fourth in putt strokes won, and if he can continue like this, he has a realistic chance of earning his fifth win of the season.
“I definitely want to win again. I want to win every week I serve, so this week is definitely no different,” said Scheffler. “I’ve put myself in a decent position. Of course I’d like to be a bit higher up the rankings but overall we’ll see how the results play out this afternoon, but I’ll definitely have a good chance going into the weekend to go.”
Captain Trevor Immelman watches intently
Unlike the US team, which has all but 12 members selected for next month’s Presidents Cup, the international team’s leadership has a much more difficult decision ahead of them. With qualifying for the team event concluding with the culmination of the BMW Championship, Captain Immelman is tasked with selecting four additional players for the eight automatic qualifiers.
There are a few possible directions he could take for Quail Hollow. Bombers Cam Davis, Lucas Herbert and Taylor Pendrith look in from the outside and some of the fitter players in the pool of potential picks. Then you have the veteran presence of Marc Leishman, or maybe Jason Day, who is not in the field this week. Youth or experience – or a combination of both – is Immelman’s ultimate choice, but he must be content with his team of 12 international men shaping up within six shots of Scott’s lead.
Is another dramatic ending imminent?
The BMW Championship has repeatedly produced heart-warming final moments in recent seasons. With playoffs needed in three of the last four years, the makeup of the rankings has a chance of a similar ending. Last year, Patrick Cantlay and Bryson DeChambeau battled it out in a six-hole playoff in front of a rowdy Baltimore crowd.
While there were no crowds at Olympia Fields, one can only imagine the uproar that would have ensued when Jon Rahm sunk a 60-foot birdie on the first playoff hole to defeat Dustin Johnson in 2020. The fans will multiply over the course of the weekend and with a huge build up of grandstands on the Wilmington CC final stretch, there will be an atmosphere normally reserved for major championships.
“The audience has been amazing all week,” said McIlroy. “This is obviously a big golf tournament coming to Delaware. I’m not sure when the last time this happened or if it’s been a long time. So it’s great to see the crowd out here and so excited to see us play.”
2022 BMW Championship updated odds and tips
- Scottie Scheffler: 9/2
- Rory McIlroy: 13/2
- Cameron Young: 8-1
- Adam Scott: 17/2
- Jordan Spieth: 10-1
- Xander Schauffele: 11-1
- Patrick Cantlay: 11-1
- Corey Conners: 12-1
- Cam Davis: 22-1
- Joaquin Niemann: 25-1
- Shane Lowry: 35-1
- Hideki Matsuyama: 35-1
- Scott Stallings: 35-1
- Aaron Wise: 35-1
- Sam Burns: 35-1
Young, Niemann and Collin Morikawa are all potential winners. All in all, there is still confidence in these three players, especially in Young, who is third in the field in shots won from the tee to the green. The putative PGA Tour Rookie of the Year has been great so far and, were it not for Friday’s poor putting performance, would take the sole lead.
If you’re looking for a little extra juice to add to your juice, it’s hard to look past Morikawa. Getting back to “Old Collin,” as he put it Thursday, the two-time Major winner was terrific with his irons and terrible with his putter. Despite his weaknesses on the greens, he is only five strokes from the lead and is trading at 60-1.
https://www.cbssports.com/golf/news/2022-bmw-championship-leaderboard-adam-scott-takes-one-stroke-lead-into-halfway-point-in-delaware/ 2022 BMW Championship leaderboard: Adam Scott leads by a shot at halftime in Delaware