2020 BMW Championship Power Rankings

Dustin Johnson Jon Rahm Dell Match Play
Dustin Johnson and Jon Rahm wait to tee off during round one of the WGC-Mexico Championship at Club de Golf Chapultepec on March 1, 2018 in Mexico City, Mexico. Photo by Ryan Young/PGA TOUR via Getty Images

Last week’s The Northern Trust, the first event of the FedExCup playoffs, did have a field of 125 golfers, even if only one of them was relevant. Dustin Johnson put on a performance for the ages, leaving a strong field in his dust to the tune of an 11-stroke obliteration.

It was the 22nd career victory for the future Hall of Famer, who continues to hit his irons at an awe-inspiring level.

Johnson, now at the top of both the World Rankings and the FedExCup Standings, is strongly favored to win again at this week’s BMW Championship, but a field motivated by a $15 million FedExCup prize is not going to just stand aside.

With the top 30 in the FedExCup standings moving onto the Tour Championship at East Lake, here is who we like most to make noise at Olympia Fields, which is hosting its first Tour event since Jim Furyk prevailed at the 2003 U.S. Open.

15. Ryan Palmer

Ryan Palmer
Ryan Palmer celebrates his putt on the 16th hole during the final round of the Zurich Classic of New Orleans at TPC Louisiana on Apr 28, 2019 in Avondale, LA. Photo by Stan Badz/PGA TOUR via Getty Images

A T8 result at TPC Boston, where he shot a final-round 67 despite a double bogey, bogey, bogey stretch on the back nine was the third top 15 in four starts for the 43-year-old, who is having his best year on Tour since he notched two runner-ups and finished 14th in the 2014 FedExCup Standings.

Most encouraging for Palmer is that he gained nearly five strokes on the TPC Boston field with his putter, since he has been miserable in that regard for the majority of the season. He also led the field in strokes gained: around-the-green, and was fifth in birdies. In 2016, he finished T4 at this event and it STILL was not good enough to get him to East Lake, but at 22nd in the current standings, he is basically a lock.

FedExCup: 22nd
World Rank: 34th
Last Week in Boston: 8th
Recent: 8, 43, 15, 2, MC
Odds (W, 5, 10): 70-1, 12-1, 6-1

14. Viktor Hovland

Viktor Hovland
Viktor Hovland lines up a shot on the 16th hole during the final round of the Rocket Mortgage Classic at the Detroit Golf Club on June 30, 2019 in Detroit, MI. Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

The 22-year-old from Norway finished his first PGA Championship start with a Sunday 66, and was able to carry that momentum into his first FedExCup playoff event, shooting three rounds of 68 or better at TPC Boston.

On Sunday, he was 8-under through 14 holes, and into the top 5 for the week before a late double-bogey dropped him to T18. Making his ninth straight cut since the Tour restart, Hovland putted phenomenally at TPC Boston, gaining 5.2 strokes on the field for the week. It is just a matter of time before he contends at a big event.

At 24th in the standings, he SHOULD be good to make the field at East Lake, but he should be motivated to not start that week at the bottom of the leaderboard.

FedExCup: 24th
World Rank: 31st
Last Week in Boston: 18th
Recent: 18, 33, 59, 48, 3
Odds (W, 5, 10): 45-1, 8-1, 4-1

13. Tyrrell Hatton

Tyrrell Hatton Open Championship Power Rankings
Tyrrell Hatton on the 13th tee at Gullane Golf Course during day one of the 2018 ASI Scottish Open in Gullane, Scotland. Credit: Harry How/Getty Images

One of the streakiest players on Tour, Hatton’s fellow competitors surely took note of the 8-under 63 he posted on Saturday, a round featuring 10 birdies. A Sunday 72 took the luster off his week some, but a T25 for the week has him again trending in the right direction.

Coming into August, the 28-year-old Englishman had finished T6 or better in five of his six season starts, with the other being a T14 at a WGC event where he played the weekend 68-65. The Tour leader in birdie average is dangerous when he gets going, and there were certainly signs of that at TPC Boston.

FedExCup: 17th
World Rank: 15th
Last Week in Boston: 25th
Recent: 25, MC, 69, 4, 3
Odds (W, 5, 10): 35-1, 8-1, 4-1

12. Scottie Scheffler

Scottie Scheffler 59 TPC Boston
Scottie Scheffler talks with his caddie before playing his shot on the 12th tee during the second round of The Northern Trust at TPC Boston on Aug 21, 2020 in Norton, Mass. Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

The reigning Korn Ferry Tour Player of the Year followed up his week in contention at the PGA Championship (made the final Sunday pairing with Dustin Johnson) with a T4 in his first FedExCup playoff event.

Oh, and he shot a 59 in the second round. To illustrate how impressive that was, consider that Dustin Johnson was 11-under through 11-holes and STILL did not have a better round than Scheffler. Something clearly clicked for the 24-year-old Texan a month ago, as he bounced back from three consecutive missed cuts with a four-week stretch of T22, T15, T4, T4.

There is a risk that the presumptive Tour Rookie of the Year could cool off this week, but we say, ride him while he’s hot.

FedExCup: 14th
World Rank: 37th
Last Week in Boston: 4th
Recent: 4, 4, 15, 25, 22
Odds (W, 5, 10): 30-1, 6-1, 3-1

11. Tiger Woods

Rory McIlroy Tiger Woods
Rory McIlroy hands a club to Tiger Woods as they walk off the 10th tee during the final round of The Northern Trust at TPC Boston on Aug 23, 2020 in Norton, Mass. Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

What to make of the week’s biggest wild card? A T58 at The Northern Trust is not promising on its own, and you never know which version of Tiger is going to show up on the greens, but he did play well on Sunday with a 5-under 66.

Momentum is positive as well as his event history, and there were no reports that his back was flaring up in Boston. This will be a third start in four weeks… wow, it is difficult to get a handle on him this year.

FedExCup: 57th
World Rank: 17th
Last Week in Boston: 58th
Recent: 58, 37, 40, 68, 9
Odds (W, 5, 10): 35-1, 8-1, 4-1

10. Bryson DeChambeau

Bryson DeChambeau
Bryson DeChambeau talks with his caddie after hitting his second shot in the rough on the 10th hole during the second round of The Northern Trust at TPC Boston on Aug 21, 2020 in Norton, Mass. Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

The Tour’s new longest hitter was red-hot before the three-month layoff with three straight finishes inside the top 5. He was even better after the layoff, starting his June with a T3, T8, T6, WIN stretch.

Since then? He contended late into Sunday at the PGA Championship, posting a T4 after a prolific 66-66 weekend, but has two missed cuts and a T30 in his other three starts. He was a surprise missed cut at last week’s The Northern Trust, an event where he was the more or less the defending champion, having won the last time a PGA Tour event was hosted by TPC Boston, the 2018 Dell Technologies Championship.

With the second best scoring average on Tour, when Bryson gets in a rhythm, he can stay hot, it is just a matter of getting going again. With nine top 10s in 15 starts, we think another week in contention is imminent. It does not hurt that DeChambeau won the U.S. Amateur at Olympic Fields when it was the tournament host in 2015, destroying Derek Bard by a 7&6 margin.

FedExCup: 7th
World Rank: 8th
Last Week in Boston: MC
Recent: MC, 4, 30, MC, 1
Odds (W, 5, 10): 15-1, 4-1, 2-1

9. Xander Schauffele

Xander Schauffele
Xander Schauffele surveys his putt during the final round of the Tour Championship at East Lake GC on Sep 24, 2017 in in Atlanta, GA. Photo by Michael Wade/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

It was an extremely steady week for the former East Lake champion at TPC Boston, finishing second in the field in both pars and bogeys. That makes six straight top-25s for Schauffele, seven in eight since the Tour restart, and 14 in just 16 starts for the season as a whole.

Schauffele finished T3 at this event two years ago at Aronimink, and historically shines at this time of the season. Do not be surprised if he threatens for his fifth Tour title in Chicago this week. He is currently fifth on Tour in strokes gained: tee-to-green, sixth in greens in regulation, and seventh in scoring average.

FedExCup: 11th
World Rank: 10th
Last Week in Boston: 25th
Recent: 25, 10, 6, 13, 14
Odds (W, 5, 10): 17-1, 4-1, 2-1

8. Kevin Kisner

Kevin Kisner Wyndham Championship
Kevin Kisner lines up a putt on the 15th green during the final round of the Wyndham Championship at Sedgefield CC on Aug 16, 2020 in Greensboro, NC. Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

Kisner’s elite putting has him in the midst of a quietly great stretch of play. He has five top 25s in his last six starts, including two tertiary finishes, and a T4 at last week’s The Northern Trust.

Last year, he went T12, T9, T9 in the playoffs, so getting hot at this time of year is not a new thing for the 36-year-old. At 23rd in the FedExCup standings, he SHOULD be good for East Lake, but it is just close enough where he should continue to be playing with a sense of urgency.

Since the restart, he has a 66.2 Sunday average, making him a potentially great bet if he makes the cut.

FedExCup: 23rd
World Rank: 29th
Last Week in Boston: 4th
Recent: 4, 3, 19, 25, MC
Odds (W, 5, 10): 50-1, 8-1, 5-1

7. Collin Morikawa

Collin Morikawa Wins 2020 PGA Championship
Collin Morikawa celebrates making his final putt on the 18th green with caddie Jonathan Jakovac during the final round of the 2020 PGA Championship at TPC Harding Park on Aug 9, 2020 in San Francisco, CA. Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

We will excuse the missed cut last week for the PGA Champion, given the non-stop attention bestowed upon him after landing in the winner’s circle of the year’s first major.

We may have had him a little high anyway, as the wunderkind has not quite become proficient at stringing great weeks together as of yet, finishing T64 the week after his runner-up finish at the Charles Schwab, and finishing T48 at The Memorial the week after winning the Workday Charity Open on the same course. He played the par-5s shockingly bad at TPC Boston (+4 in two rounds), but ranks inside the top 10 on Tour for the year in par-5 scoring, so we are willing to chalk that up as a fluke.

At No. 5 in the FedExCup standings, he can put himself in fantastic position for East Lake with another bounce back effort.

FedExCup: 5th
World Rank: 5th
Last Week in Boston: MC
Recent: MC, 1, 20, 48, 1, MC
Odds (W, 5, 10): 26-1, 5-1, 3-1

6. Jason Day

Jason Day and Justin Rose 2020 PGA Championship
Jason Day and Justin Rose during the final round of the 2020 PGA Championship at TPC Harding Park on Aug 9, 2020 in San Francisco, CA. Photo by Christian Petersen/PGA of America via Getty Images

We had Day in the No. 2 spot at TPC Boston last week, largely off based on a trend of very positive results for the former world No. 1, who had posted finishes of T7, T4, T6, T4 respectively, with the latter three all coming in events with strong fields. Then at the first playoff event, he carded a nine on a late par-5 to shoot a 75 and miss the cut by five strokes.

We are inclined to give Day a pass for kind of a flukeish round, and see him getting back on track in Chicago, knowing that he needs an excellent week to get into the field at East Lake.

FedExCup: 50th
World Rank: 35th
Last Week in Boston: MC
Recent: MC, 4, 6, 4, 7, MC
Odds (W, 5, 10): 31-1, 6-1, 3-1

5. Webb Simpson

Webb Simpson
Webb Simpson acknowledges the gallery on the 18th hole during the final round of the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational at TPC Southwind on July 28, 2019 in Memphis, Tennessee. Photo by Stan Badz/PGA TOUR via Getty Images

Another week brought another strong performance from Webb, as a T6 in Boston marked his eighth top 10 in just 13 starts on the season. Since the restart, he has five finishes of T12 or better, with a win (his second of the season), and four weeks of finishing at least 15-under-par.

Simpson quietly leads the Tour in scoring average this season, and is second in birdie average. A win this week would put him out front in the both the FedExCup standings and probably the race for Tour Player of the Year as well. He may be the safest bet in the field to notch at least a top 10.

FedExCup: 3rd
World Rank: 6th
Last Week in Boston: 6th
Recent: 6, 3, 37, 12, MC
Odds (W, 5, 10): 14-1, 3-1, 2-1

4. Justin Thomas

Justin Thomas and Collin Morikawa
Justin Thomas and Collin Morikawa look on from the 18th tee during the third round of the Workday Charity Open on July 11, 2020 at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio. Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

It was not an especially eventful week for Thomas at TPC Boston, as he struggled with his putter and stagnated over the weekend with two rounds of even-par 71. Even at T49, though, he was just barely overtaken for the top position in the FedExCup Standings, a testament to how tremendous he has played over the course of the entire season, one where he leads the Tour with three victories.

JT used an unconscious third round 61 last year to win this event by three strokes at Medinah, which should make him confident this week, even at a different course. Do not get too caught up in the T37-T49 back-to-back stretch; it was the first time all season that Thomas has failed to record a top 8 finish in back-to-back weeks. He has more than proven himself in the playoff format, and leading the Tour in strokes gained tee-to-green is an excellent sign for his chances at an unfamiliar course.

FedExCup: 3rd
World Rank: 3rd
Last Week in Boston: 49th
Recent: 49, 37, 1, 18, 2
Odds (W, 5, 10): 12-1, 3-1, Even

3. Daniel Berger

Daniel Berger WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational at TPC Southwind
Daniel Berger smiles with his caddie before hitting out of a bunker on the 18th hole during the final round of the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational at TPC Southwind on Aug 2, 2020 in Memphis, Tennessee. Photo by Keyur Khamar/PGA TOUR via Getty Images

Since February, nobody has been as consistently great as Berger. In his last nine starts, Berger has six top 5s, along with a T9, and a T13 at the PGA Championship where he contended into Sunday.

At TPC Boston, he went 66, 66, 67, 67 for a solo-third place finish, ranking third in both strokes gained: off-the-tee and strokes gained: putting. For the season, he ranks inside the top 25 in five of the six strokes gained categories (40th in the other), and has the Tour’s third-best scoring average. Simply put, he has been much too dialed-in to expect any regression in Chicago.

FedExCup: 4th
World Rank: 13th
Last Week in Boston: 3rd
Recent: 3, 13, 2, MC, 3
Odds (W, 5, 10): 18-1, 4-1, 2-1

2. Dustin Johnson

Dustin Johnson THE NORTHERN TRUST at TPC Boston
Dustin Johnson watches his drive on No. 9 during the second round of The Northern Trust on Aug 21, 2020, at TPC Boston in Norton, Mass. Photo by Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

What more can be said about the absolute thrashing the new World No. 1 put on the unsuspecting field at TPC Boston? His 11-stroke margin of victory was the largest on Tour since Phil Mickelson won the 2006 Bell South Classic by 13, and his 30-under-par score was the second-lowest score to par in Tour history.

DJ’s ball-striking was on another level: he gained 18(!) strokes on the field tee-to-green, hit more than 90% of his greens in regulation, and carded more eagles (5) than bogeys (3).

Expecting a repeat performance in Chicago would probably be unreasonable, but Johnson does have a history of stringing elite performances together. He somehow went 80-80 and missed the cut at Muirfield Village after winning the Travelers Championship in June, but before that, he had followed up his last ten wins with finishes of T5, T3, 3, T2, T18, 1st, 1st, T6, T9, 1st respectively. He should probably be first on this list, but that feels kind of lazy.

FedExCup: 1st
World Rank: 1st
Last Week in Boston: 1st
Recent: 1, 2, 12, MC, 1
Odds (W, 5, 10): 8-1, 2-1, Even

1. Jon Rahm

Jon Rahm TPC Boston
Jon Rahm plays a shot on the 13th hole during round two of the Dell Technologies Championship at TPC Boston on Sep 2, 2017 in Norton, Mass. Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images

In the past month, Rahm has twice ascended to No. 1 in the world rankings, only to be usurped in his very next start. He might have lost by 14 strokes at TPC Boston, but his 67-65 weekend was very encouraging, especially with how phenomenally he plays when he gets momentum.

Now having three finishes of T13 or better in his last three starts, that momentum is clearly with him, and we think he will use it to get himself near the opening lead for the Tour Championship. He had at least one phenomenal round with every part of his game at TPC Boston, most notably leading the field in strokes gained: off-the-tees.

FedExCup: 9th
World Rank: 2nd
Last Week in Boston: 6th
Recent: 6, 13, 52, 1, 27
Odds (W, 5, 10): 10-1, 3-1, Even

Next Five

Patrick Cantlay (37)
Tony Finau (29)
Hideki Matsuyama (18)
Rory McIlroy (12)
Joel Dahmen (41)


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