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2022 BMW Championship: 10 critical players to watch before the TOUR Championship

The second leg of the FedEx Cup playoffs continues this week with the BMW Championship at Wilmington Country Club in Wilmington, Del.

The tournament begins Thursday morning as the top-70 players in the FedEx Cup standings are in the field. In this no cut event, the top 30 golfers in the standings at the conclusion of the week will move on to next week’s Tour Championship at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta.

Last week, Will Zalatoris, who has come close multiples times this season, received his first PGA Tour victory at the FedEx St. Jude Championship in a three-hole playoff over Sepp Straka.

This season alone, Zalatoris had three second-place finishes and a tie for second place finish. With the win, the 26-year-old had vaulted himself into the top spot in the standings, overtaking Scottie Scheffler.

If a player inside the top 15 of the FedEx Cup Standings wins the event for 2,000 FedEx Cup points, they will overtake Zalatoris and have a two-shot lead before teeing off in Atlanta next week.

This week, players are not only looking to win, but to also be in good position for next week as the higher you finish in the standings, the better you start at East Lake next week.

In addition, one of the big news this week is the absence on Cameron Smith, who is sidelined with an injured hip.

Here are 10 players to watch at the BMW Championship

Related: 2022 FedEx Cup playoffs preview ahead of the St. Jude Championship

10. Adam Scott

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If there is one player to watch from outside the top 30 in the FedEx Cup Standings, it is Adam Scott.

Despite making the cut but not finishing that well at the Wyndham Championship two weeks ago, Scott entered the FedEx Cup playoffs at No. 82, so a good week was needed at TPC Southwind to get inside the top 70 and move on to Delaware.  

The 2013 Masters Champion delivered with two 4-under 66s in the first and fourth rounds, in addition to a 3-under in the Friday’s second round to record a top-five finish and jumped all the way to No. 46.

Scott begins his first round of the BMW Championship with Keegan Bradley at 7:00 a.m. PT on Thursday.

9. Trey Mullinax

PGA: FedEx St. Jude Championship - First Round
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A second player to watch outside the top 30 is Trey Mullinax, who went from No. 74 to No 41 during a solid last week.

Mullinax finished with the same score as Scott and also recorded two different rounds with a 66. The thing that has benefitted Mulliax has been his driving and ranks inside the top 10 amongst PGA Tour players in driving distance, averaging 316.2 yards off the tee.

Mullinax’s driving distance will be key, especially on the short, par-4 16th hole but also the long par-5 on holes No. 12 and 14.

The 30-year-old begins his first round with Mito Pereira on Thursday at 7:10 a.m. PT

Related: 2022 BMW Championship: Preview, Odds & Predictions

8. Sepp Straka

bmw championship sepp straka
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Also making a big jump after last week’s showing is Sepp Straka. Despite losing the playoff to Zalatoris, Straka went from No. 36 all the way up to No. 8, almost ensuring his spot in next week’s Tour Championship.

At TPC Southwind, Straka finished all four of his rounds in the 60s, highlighted by his first round 64 on Thursday.

On the season, Straka has four top-10 finishes, including getting a victory at The Honda Classic in February.

Straka tees off with Rory McIlroy on Thursday at 11:30 a.m.

7. Collin Morikawa

PGA: The Open Championship - Second Round
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Like Straka, Collin Morikawa finished all four rounds in the 60s and was part of the group that finished tied for fifth last week.

This year, Morikawa has gone through some struggles, but he was able to turn it around with just two bogeys on Saturday. Morikawa led the field in birdies, although he made some mistakes throughout the tournament that prevented from getting higher in the leaderboard last weekend.

But the birdies and lack of bogeys over the weekend gives Morikawa the momentum heading into the BMW Championship.

Morikawa begins his Thursday first round with Tom Hoge at 8:05 a.m.

Related: BMW Championship returning to Caves Valley, Bellerive

6. Tony Finau

PGA: FedEx St. Jude Championship - Second Round
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Over the last month, Tony Finau has been one of the most successful players with back-to-back wins at the 3M Open and the Rocket Mortgage Classic.

Finau wanted and was able to take his success from his two July wins and bring that into last week’s FedEx St. Jude Championship with a top-5 finish. With his top finish, Finau jumped up two spots from No. 7 to No. 5.

The 32-year-old is looking to continue his success as he has four top-5 finishes in his last seven starts.

Finau begins his first round on Thursday at 8:40 a.m. PT with Sam Burns.

5. Patrick Cantlay

bmw championship patrick cantlay
Kirthmon F. Dozier / USA TODAY NETWORK

Patrick Cantlay enters this week’s BMW Championship as the defending champion as he is one of two players this PGA Tour season with 10 top-10 finishes.

“I’ve played really consistently all year and just need to get hot with the putter and see if I can knock off a few wins to end the year.”

Patrick Cantlay to reporters ahead of BMW Championship

This year, Cantlay enters the week at No. 4 in birdie average and No. 6 in scoring average amongst PGA Tour players this season.

Despite a tied for 57th finish last week, Cantlay remains in the top 10 of the FedEx Cup Standings with only one victory, which came in New Orleans in a team event with his friend and next up on the list.

Related: Ranking the 10 best PGA golfers of the 2021-22 season

4. Xander Schauffele

PGA: The Open Championship - Second Round
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Cantlay’s lone win, which came at the Zurich Classic, was won alongside his buddy and common partner in team events in Xander Schauffele.

Schauffele followed suit with Cantlay finishing in the same spot at 57th that was hurt by a 3-over 73 in Saturday’s third round last week.

Although last week might have not been what Schauffele wanted, he is a player that is focused on positioning for next week at East Lake as he has three wins on the season.

Schauffele and Cantlay are in same group for Thursday and Friday and tee off at 8:25 a.m. PT on the first day of the BMW Championships.

3. Cameron Young

PGA: Rocket Mortgage Classic - Final Round
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Cameron Young enters the penultimate event of the PGA Tour season with two second place finishes in his last three starts, including at The Open Championship last month.

Last week, Young finished tied for 31st at TPC Southwind, but led the field in driving distance.

For the entire season, Young ranks second on the PGA Tour in strokes gained off the tee and first in driving distance on all drives.

This year, Young as seven top-10 finishes, including five second place spots.

Young tees off with U.S. Open Champion Matt Fitzpatrick at 11:50 a.m. on Thursday.

2. Will Zalatoris

will zalatoris bmw championship
Nicole Hester / The Tennessean / USA TODAY NETWORK

The Fed Ex Cup’s new No. 1 is at No. 2 here at he is coming off his first PGA Tour win of his career. It was only a matter of time for Zalatoris, with multiple opportunities to get his first win a little bit sooner even during major tournaments.

Last week, Zalatoris ranked third driving distance. He also made a smart decision on the final hole of the playoff deciding to take his ball in the drop zone and get ball within seven feet of the hole.

1. Scottie Scheffler

PGA: BMW Championship - First Round
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The former No. 1 in the FedEx Cup Standing needed some negative spark to kickstart a strong run and this is the perfect situation for Scottie Scheffler, who missed the cut last week and is 124 points behind Zalatoris.

Missing the cut last week will motivates Scheffler for this run to have a chance to cap off his magical 2021-22 season which includes winning his first jacket this past April.

The top two players in the FedEx Cup standings will be in the same grouping on Thursday, which will begin at 11:40 a.m. PT

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