The BMW Championship will get underway Thursday at Conway Farms Golf Club in Lake Forest, Ill. Here’s a look at some of the featured groups in the season’s third FedEx Cup Playoff event, as 70 of the game’s best look to earn one of 30 spots in the season-ending Tour Championship next week (all times CDT):
10:53 a.m. (No. 10 tee): Henrik Stenson, Tiger Woods, Adam Scott
The current top three in the FedEx Cup standings will play the first two rounds together, as Stenson will look to continue the torrid form that helped him claim the Deutsche Bank Championship two weeks ago. It will be the second time in as many events that Woods, the current world No. 1, will be paired with Scott, who tied for 53rd in Boston after winning the first playoff event of the season at The Barclays.
11:26 a.m. (No. 10 tee): Bubba Watson, Rory McIlroy, Daniel Summerhays
At Nos. 40 and 41 in the points race, Watson and McIlroy will both need strong starts at Conway Farms if they have any hope of continuing on to East Lake next week. They’ll be joined Thursday and Friday by Summerhays, who has notched five top-25 finishes across his last seven starts.
11:37 a.m. (No. 1 tee): Charles Howell III, Kevin Stadler, Kevin Chappell
This week’s version of “bubble boys.” Howell, Stadler and Chappell enter the week at Nos. 31-33, respectively, in the FedEx Cup standings and each will hope to earn enough points in Chicago to crack the top 30. As a spot in the Tour Championship brings with it invitations to each of the first three majors in 2014, the incentive looms especially large for Howell, a native of Augusta, Ga., and Stadler, who hopes to join his father Craig for a trip down Magnolia Lane next spring.
11:48 a.m. (No. 1 tee): Jordan Spieth, Keegan Bradley, Jason Day
Fresh off his selection to next month’s Presidents Cup squad, Spieth will tee it up alongside two more players he will see at Muirfield Village in a few weeks’ time. The 20-year-old tied for fourth at TPC Boston after a final-round 62, and enters the third playoff event ranked 10th in the points race. He’ll play alongside Bradley, who is one spot behind him in the FedEx Cup standings, and Day, who is currently riding a streak of three straight top-25 finishes.
11:59 a.m. (No. 1 tee): Matt Kuchar, Graham DeLaet, Phil Mickelson
Nos. 4-6 in the current FedEx Cup standings will play together for the first two rounds at Conway Farms, as DeLaet (and his playoff beard) will look for a third straight top-three finish. He’ll be joined by Kuchar and Mickelson, who have four PGA Tour wins this year between them but who are both still in search of their first career season-long FedEx Cup title.