2021 BMW Championship Power Rankings

Jon Rahm Wins BMW Championship
Jon Rahm walks away with birdie on the 18th hole in a playoff during the final round of the BMW Championship at Olympia Fields CC (North) on Aug 30, 2020 in Olympia Fields, IL. (Photo by Tracy Wilcox/PGA TOUR via Getty Images)

The first of three events in the 2021 FedExCup Playoffs resulted in the win Tour fans have been waiting for for more than five years, with Tony Finau finally elevating himself from perennial bridesmaid to Tour Champion. Finau now leads the Tour standings with just two weeks to go.

Can he be counted on to keep the heater going at the unknown Caves Valley Golf Club? Is there another Finau in the field this week? We touch on several possibilities in this week’s top 15:

15. Corey Conners

Corey Conners
Corey Conners hits his tee shot on the second hole during the final round of the 2021 PGA Championship held at the Ocean Course of Kiawah Island Golf Resort on May 23, 2021 in Kiawah Island, SC. (Photo by Darren Carroll PGA of America via Getty Images)

A third-round 62 meant a T8 for the Canadian at Liberty National, who was fantastic in everything that did not happen on or around the green.

Even if his short game let him down in New Jersey, this is still a man with 17 finishes inside the top 25 in 2021, and being relevant in several majors this season makes us unafraid to predict good things at the BMW Championship.

Conners ranks in the top 10 in three strokes gained categories this year, and is in the top 11 in both driving accuracy and greens in regulation.

FedExCup: 20th
World Ranking: 34th

14. Harris English

Harris English Leads WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational
Harris English plays his shot on the 8th hole during the first round of the FedEx St. Jude Invitational at TPC Southwind on Aug 5, 2021 in Memphis, Tenn. (Photo by Sam Greenwood via Getty Images)

Currently 8th in the FedExCup standings, the 32-year-old shot four rounds of 70 or better to finish T31 in his first event since his disastrous attempt to close the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational earlier this month.

English has missed just one cut on Tour since February, and has been as consistently high in the standings as anyone. He had three eagles at The Northern Trust, and was stellar on the greens. He has shown too much mental tenacity to expect him to flounder in the lead-in to the Tour Championship.

FedExCup: 8th
World Ranking: 11th

13. Bryson DeChambeau

Bryson DeChambeau WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational at TPC Southwind
Bryson DeChambeau hits his tee shot at the 8th hole during the third round of the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational at TPC Southwind on Aug 7, 2021 in Memphis, Tenn. (Photo by Tracy Wilcox / PGA TOUR via Getty Images)

Shooting an even-par 71 in the first round, despite only carding pars on two holes will forever stand in statistical-anomoly lore, but DeChambeau did show some improvements in a T31 where he was T4 in birdies and was third in strokes gained: off-the-tee.

He is bound to get back into consistently good results soon, and hitting 12 of 14 fairways on Sunday at Liberty National is certainly encouraging, given how much he has sprayed the ball in recent months.

FedExCup: 9th
World Ranking: 6th

12. Patrick Cantlay

Patrick Cantlay
Patrick Cantlay tees off on the 6th during a practice round prior to the start of the 2021 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines GC on June 15, 2021 in San Diego, CA. (Photo by Harry How via Getty Images)

Hey, four rounds in the 60s at Liberty National: not too bad for Cantlay, who has somehow been underwhelming despite being atop the FedExCup standings for a significant part of the 2021 season (currently fourth).

Cantlay had just two bogeys over the weekend at The Northern Trust, leading to a T11, which was his best result since winning The Memorial Tournament in June. He was solo runner-up to Justin Thomas at the 2019 BMW Championship at Medinah Country Club.

FedExCup: 4th
World Ranking: 10th

11. Abraham Ancer

Abraham Ancer Wins WGC-Fedex-St Jude Invitational
Abraham Ancer plays his shot from the 5th tee during the final round of the FedEx St. Jude Invitational at TPC Southwind on Aug 8, 2021 in Memphis, Tenn. (Photo by Sam Greenwood via Getty Images)

After a breakthrough victory at the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational in his last start, the man who had been consistently racking up high finishes prior was expected to finish better than T64 at The Northern Trust.

However, somebody with his precision is always a good bet at an unfamiliar course, which is the case this week at Caves Valley, and the 30-year-old has a history of showing up at this time of year anyway.

Ancer has five top-10s in his last six starts on Tour, placing him 10th in the standings with a week to go until East Lake.

FedExCup: 10th
World Ranking: 13th

10. Collin Morikawa

Collin Morikawa Wins 149th Open Championship Royal St Georges
Collin Morikawa celebrates with caddie Jonathan Jakovac after finishing his round on the 18th green and winning The Open to become Open Champion during Day Four of The 149th Open at Royal St George’s Golf Club on July 18, 2021 in Sandwich, England. (Photo by Harry Trump for R&A via Getty Images)

The Open Champion Golf Of The Year is dealing with a pinched nerve in his neck, which played a big role in his rare missed cut at The Northern Trust.

If he is feeling better this week, his tee-to-green play has been too unreal to count out, but with no confirmation on his status, he is difficult to place.

What we do know though, is that he has two wins on the season, and constantly finds ways to look well beyond his years. That missed cut dropped him from 1st to 6th in the playoff standings.

FedExCup: 6th
World Ranking: 3rd

9. Brooks Koepka

Brooks Koepka
Brooks Koepka lines up a putt on the 18th green during the third round of the 2021 PGA Championship at Kiawah Island Resort’s Ocean Course on May 22, 2021 in Kiawah Island, SC. (Photo by Patrick Smith via Getty Images)

A man who has defined “hit or miss” in 2021, was much more the latter on Sunday at Liberty National, stumbling out of the gate to a 3-over 74 that dropped him into a share of 31st place.

The four-time major winner is now in no-man’s land at 15th in the FedExCup standings, meaning he’s a lock for East Lake, but needs to do much better than he has in August (T54, T31) to be relevant in the playoff finale. He is always a complete wild card on this kind of stage, so bet with caution.

FedExCup: 15th
World Ranking: 8th

8. Dustin Johnson

Dustin Johnson
Dustin Johnson plays a tee shot on the 8th hole during the second round of the Travelers Championship at TPC River Highlands on June 25, 2021 in Cromwell, Conn. (Photo by Ben Jared / PGA TOUR via Getty Images)

A year ago, DJ sunk a 43-foot-putt to make a BMW Championship playoff that he lost after Jon Rahm hit a 66-footer.

Again, Rahm and Johnson enter the week in the first two spots in the OWGR, with DJ the No. 2 this time, but it is difficult to be too ebullient on Dustin after he missed the cut at The Northern Trust.

He has not been showing up in the big events this season, but there is probably nobody on Tour capable of turning it up any random week than the 37-year-old. He has not won since November, but does have four top-20s in the last three months.

FedExCup: 22nd
World Ranking: 2nd

7. Justin Thomas

Justin Thomas The Northern Trust Round 3
Justin Thomas tees off on the 2nd hole during round 3 of The Northern Trust on Aug 21, 2021 at Liberty National GC in Jersey City, NJ. (Photo by Rich Graessle / Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

A 1-under 70 on Monday, even with those four birdies in his last seven holes on the back nine, is a little underwhelming, but a T4 should still be considered massively encouraging for the 2017 FedExCup Champion, who has been in the longest funk of his career since winning THE PLAYERS in March.

Twenty-five birdies was enough to snap a streak of 11 straight starts outside the top 10, which once felt inconceivable for him.

In 2020, he only fell outside the top 10 in back-to-back events just once, and that was only three.

FedExCup: 5th
World Ranking: 5th

6. Cameron Smith

Cameron Smith Leads The Northern Trust
Cameron Smith walks down the 17th tee with clouds looming during the third round of THE NORTHERN TRUST at Liber ty National GC on Aug 21, 2021 in Jersey City, NJ. (Photo by Tracy Wilcox / PGA TOUR via Getty Images)

The 28-year-old Aussie has the uncanny ability to look like prime Rory one minute, and then come completely unraveled the next. Regardless of the absolute gift he gave Tony Finau in last week’s Northern Trust playoff, Smith’s second consecutive top 10 jumped him to third in the FedExCup standings.

He runs very hot and cold, so don’t expect the scar tissue from “the drive” to completely derail him. Also, don’t be surprised if he laps the field one day and then shoots a 77 the next. He is undeniably talented though.

FedExCup: 3rd
World Ranking: 23rd

5. Jordan Spieth

Jordan Spieth Masters Augusta National
Jordan Spieth plays a shot from a bunker on the 10th hole during a practice round prior to the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club on April 06, 2021 in Augusta, GA. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Wow… what was that? The day off caused by Hurricane Henri was not helpful to Spieth, who shot 7-over 79 in a round that included four birdies, which should tell you how bad the other holes were.

We don’t have the data in front of us, but we’re comfortable reporting that Spieth’s week in New Jersey was the only time in Tour history that a player had back-to-back eagles and back-to-back triple-bogeys in the same tournament.

As for this week? Spieth dropped from 2nd to 7th in the standings, and considering the winless drought he suffered before this year, you have to worry whether he will carry the scar tissue into Maryland.

Considering he had nine top-20s in his previous ten starts, we’re willing to give him the benefit of the doubt, and expect him to do better than 73rd this week. Granted, there are only 70 players in the field.

FedExCup: 7th
World Ranking: 12th

4. Xander Schauffele

Xander Schauffele
Xander Schauffele plays his shot from the second tee during the final round of The Genesis Invitational at Riviera CC on Feb 21, 2021 in Pacific Palisades, CA. (Photo by Harry How via Getty Images)

We’re still waiting for the gold-medal winner to get past his Tokyo jetlag, but a T16 at The Northern Trust, which included a second-round 62, was much better than the T46 he had in his previous start.

Schauffele has had a penchant for showing up in the playoffs, and we can’t expect a player of his caliber to not make a push in the standings. We expect him to arrive at East Lake in two weeks better than his current position of 13th.

FedExCup: 13th
World Ranking: 4th

3. Tony Finau

Tony Finau plays his shot from the 15th tee during a practice round prior to the start of the 2021 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines GC on June 15, 2021 in San Diego, CA. (Photo by Ezra Shaw via Getty Images)

Finally! A stunning 39 top-10s since his lone Tour victory in an opposite-field event in Puerto Rico, and FINALLY Finau gets it done.

Some might point to whatever that was Cameron Smith did off the tee in the playoff to denigrate it, but don’t forget: Finau had to come on in 30 to even make it to extra holes.

Is it floodgates time? That was like a 10-million lb monkey off his back. He now leads the FedExCup standings and becomes a marked man in Maryland. He finished solo-fifth a year ago at Olympia Fields after going insane on Sunday.

FedExCup: 1st
World Ranking: 9th

2. Louis Oosthuizen

Louis Oosthuizen
Louis Oosthuizen looks at the leaderboard during the final round of the PGA Championship on The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island Golf Resort on May 23, 2021, in Kiawah Island, SC. (Photo by Keyur Khamar / PGA TOUR via Getty Images)

With Jordan Spieth, Abraham Ancer, and Tony Finau all taking titles in 2021, a win by a red-hot Louis Oosthuizen, whose one PGA Tour win was in 2010 and in Europe, would fit into the trend nicely.

Oosthuizen sat out last week, but has been his best version this year, with four runner-ups since April. He owns the Tour’s second-best scoring average and is putting out of his mind.

Yeah, you have to be a little concerned about whether he can close, but well… the thing we said in the first sentence.

FedExCup: 11th
World Ranking: 7th

1. Jon Rahm

Jon Rahm The Northern Trust
Jon Rahm walks to the 17th green during the first round of THE NORTHERN TRUST at Liberty National GC on Aug 19, 2021 in Jersey City, NJ. (Photo by Tracy Wilcox / PGA TOUR via Getty Images)

The world No. 1 looked on the verge of PGA Tour victory No. 7 at Liberty National, but a surprising late-round collapse meant a solo-third, his tour-leading 13th top 10 of the season.

That close should not be read into too much: when you test positive for COVID for the hundredth time, there is bound to be some fatigue.

Rahm is now fresh off his third straight top-3 finish on Tour, and comes into the event where he won in a playoff over then-world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.

The man with the Tour’s lowest scoring average does not figure to lose that title this week. He is now second in the FedExCup standings.

FedExCup: 2nd
World Ranking: 1st

Next Five: Alex Noren, Shane Lowry, Daniel Berger, Scottie Scheffler, Paul Casey


Please enter your name here