It was one of the most impressive performances in the history of the PGA TOUR Playoffs: Jason Day completed a dominant wire-to-wire win at the BMW Championship, ending the tournament with a winning score of 22 under par (262 shots).
The 27-year-old Australian, who claimed his first Major title at the PGA Championship just a few weeks ago, was in a league of his own at Conway Farms Golf Club, to the north of Chicago – and this despite the world-class field at the third of the four Playoff tournaments being restricted to the top 70 players in the FedExCup.
Day’s victory, which earned him 1.485 million US dollars, also saw him replace Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy (-14, T4) at the top of the world rankings.
„Congratulations to Jason Day on his brilliant performance this week,” said Ludwig Willisch, President & CEO, BMW of North America. “Jason showed tremendous skill and determination and we are proud to present him with the J.K. Wadley and BMW Championship trophies.”
Second place went to American Daniel Berger (-16). Still in his rookie season, the 22-year-old will be among the 30 players to tee off at the TOUR Championship. Scott Piercy (USA) was third, one shot back.
Rickie Fowler (USA, -14), the only player apart from Day to have won a Playoff tournament this season, finished in a tie for fourth place with McIlroy and J.B. Holmes (USA).
“The way I feel about my game, my confidence level is the highest it has ever been in my entire life. It’s been an amazing run for me and today’s win tops it off being able to get to #1 in the world.” said Day, who has now won four of the past eight PGA TOUR events and travels to Atlanta as the hot favourite to secure the FedExCup title and bonus prize money totalling ten million US dollars.
Day took just 124 shots for his first two rounds – matching the PGA TOUR record. By that point, he was already two shots better than Open Champion Zach Johnson’s (USA, -11, T13) winning score of two years ago in Conway Farms. Such was the Australian’s dominance in front of the 115,000 enthralled spectators that Fowler said on Saturday: “Playing the way Jason is, there’s not a whole lot we can do unless the tournament goes into seven, eight, nine, ten rounds.”
Two-time Major winner Jordan Spieth (USA, -11, T13) was also unable to pose a threat to high-flyer Day – and yet he too was far from disappointing. Spieth even hit a hole-in-one on the second hole, for which BMW of North America donated 100,000 dollars to the Evans Scholars Foundation, which receives all proceeds from the BMW Championship. The Evans Scholars Foundation awards college scholarships to caddies.
Day (1), Spieth (2), Fowler (3) defended their top-three positions in the FedExCup rankings – as did Henrik Stenson (SWE, 4), who ended the BMW Championship tied in tenth place on 12 under par. Bubba Watson (USA, 5) matched Stenson’s score to hang on to fifth place, making him one of the five players, for whom victory in Atlanta would secure the FedExCup title, regardless of what anybody else does.
Next year, the BMW Championship will be held at Crooked Stick Golf Club, near Indianapolis, for the second time after 2012. It will then return to Conway Farms in 2017. In 2018, the tournament heads to Aronimink Golf Club in Philadelphia, before the Medinah Country Club in Chicago provides the stage for the top 70 pros on the PGA TOUR in 2019.