After the top 70 players on the PGA TOUR were unable to play their final round on Sunday due to heavy rainfall at Aronimink Golf Club, the BMW Championship ended in spectacular fashion one day later than scheduled. At the end of a thrilling final round, Bradley and Rose both finished one shot clear of the high-class field. Bradley (66, 64, 66, 64, 260, -20) came out on top in the play-off to claim his first PGA TOUR win for six years. Rose (66, 63, 64, 67) narrowly missed out on his second victory at the prestigious BMW Championship, which he had previously won in 2011. However, he did reach a milestone in his career: the 2016 Olympic champion replaced Dustin Johnson (USA, T24, -11) at the top of the world rankings.
The leaderboard on a thrilling Monday read like a who is who of golf, with ten players still in contention until well into the final round. Bradley did manage to pull just clear thanks to birdies on holes 16 and 17, but Rose was able to respond with birdies of his own on the same two holes. When the Englishman’s par putt unfortunately lipped out on the final hole, it was play-off time. Rose pulled his tee shot and could do no better than a bogey, while Bradley held his nerve to par the hole and wrap up his fourth title on the PGA TOUR. 2014 BMW Championship winner Billy Horschel and “PGA TOUR Rookie of the Year 2017” Xander Schauffele (both USA, -19) finished tied in third place.
“This is just incredible. It has been a hard road back. I just can’t believe it,” said Bradley. “The organisers got a little unlucky with the weather. The conditions were soft, so the scores were lower. But everybody loved the golf course. It was just a joy to play. The fans were great and it was a really, really fun week here.”
As well as Rose, many other Ryder Cup players from Europe and the USA were in excellent form ahead of the showdown in Paris in three weeks’ time, at which BMW is “Official Partner”. Rory McIlroy (NIR, 5, -18) was tied for the lead after round one with 14-time major winner Tiger Woods (USA, T6, -17), who was named as a “Captain’s Pick” for the Ryder Cup by US captain Jim Furyk on Tuesday. Tommy Fleetwood (ENG, T8, -16) and Open winner Francesco Molinari (ITA, T8, -16) also impressed, as did Webb Simpson (USA, T6, -17), Rickie Fowler (USA, T8, -16) and defending FedExCup champion Justin Thomas (USA, T12, -15).
Another drama played out at the BMW Championship was qualification for the season finale, the TOUR Championship, at which only the top 30 players in the FedExCup ranking are entitled to play. Coming into the BMW Championship, Bryson DeChambeau (USA, T19, -12) held an unassailable lead. Rose, Tony Finau (USA, T15, -11), Dustin Johnson (T33, -8) and Thomas complete the top five, who are guaranteed to take overall victory should they win in Atlanta, regardless of other results. In contrast, three-time major winner Jordan Spieth (USA, T55, -3) dropped into the thankless 31st place in the FedExCup ranking, meaning he will miss the season finale for the first time in his career.