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‘Dawgs on Tour: Crooked Stick Edition!!!

Our boys get the hell out of the northeast, and move into the state that until recently, ignored federally mandated bi-annual clock changes. Big things on the line including big money, big moves on the points list, and big captains picks for the Ryder Cup.

Deutsche Bank Championship - Round Two
Just tryin’ to hold on.
Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images

Tournament: The BMW Championship, September 8-11

Course: Crooked Stick GC, 7,516 yards, par 72; Carmel, IN (just outside Indianapolis)

Purse: $8,500,000 (winner’s purse $1,530,000). #Same

Defending Champion: Jason Day. Day started out hot, as in record-tying hot (61-63) and really left the rest of the field competing for 2nd. Harris English played his way into the Tour Championship last year at this event, having missed the previous two years by one spot on the list.

Fun Fact: John Daly essentially turned his life around when he won the PGA Championship on this course in 1991. He faced down the gauntlet of Craig Stadler, Bruce Lietzke, Steve Pate, and David Feherty. Yes, THAT David Feherty (T7).

Television: Thursday-Friday, 3-7 p.m. ET (Golf Channel). Saturday, noon-3:30 p.m. (NBC), 3:30-6 p.m. (GC). Sunday, noon-2 p.m. (GC), 2-6 p.m. (NBC).

Former 'Dawgs in the Field (Six): Hudson Swafford, Brian Harman, Chris Kirk, Harris English, Bubba Watson, Kevin Kisner

And then there were two. As in two tournaments left in the PGA Tour season. And as you may remember, the field for each of the FedEx Cup playoffs get progressively smaller. Only the top 70 advance to this week, down from 100 last week. The good news is that there was little damage to the UGA alums on Tour; Russell Henley being the lone casualty, and two players actually moving up into the 70 cutoff.

If that’s not enough pressure, Captain Davis Love III is making his picks next week on who gets to represent the US in the Ryder Cup. Bubba Watson and Kevin Kisner are really the only ones in contention for one of the four captain’s picks, with Kisner probably not in the picture. You might think ranking #6 in the world would lock you into a spot, but the emphasis has been on the players playing the best right now. Bubba Watson is the former, not so much the latter.

But one can only control one’s golf game, thus the focus is on winning this week or at least placing high on the leaderboard, and the rankings will fall where they will (thank you Tiger Woods). So keep reading for a breakdown of the Bulldogs in this week’s field:

Hudson Swafford (#61): Swafford was 90th two weeks ago, and 82nd last week. His tie for 15th place with every round under par was just what the doctor ordered. He played himself into the 3rd round. Good on you, Hudson.

Brian Harman (#57): Harman is also reaping the rewards of good tournaments, having moved 22 spots from the first round to second round, and now 10 more spots to claim his position in the third playoff event. Playing in the final group last Sunday and 3 shots out of the lead, he blew up with a 77, but conditions were tough and he only fell to T24.

Russell Henley (N/A): RIP Russell. Enjoy the off-season, get Ray Cutright to give you a few pointers, and stock up on some Nu-Way.

Chris Kirk (#66): Kirk finished T33 last week, but that was good enough to move him up 9 spots and barely into the 3rd round of the playoffs. It’s not just how you finish, but how you finish compared to those around you on the points list. Case in point.

Harris English (#44): The 2nd week in a row of falling on the points list. His T41 in the tournament moved him down from 41st in the rankings. Again, it depends on how the guys around you are doing.

Bubba Watson (#27): Bubba missed the cut last week by 2 strokes, and those cost him 8 spots in the rankings. To explain the fluid nature of the points list, English finished 41st in the tournament and fell 3 spots, Kirk finished 33rd in the tournament and gained 9 spots.

Kevin Kisner (#17): Kisner fell from 12th spot, but is still almost a lock for making the Tour Championship (top 30 after this week). He’s had a decent run the last 2 months, and I’d like to see him make a move and challenge the top 5.

We have the US Open (tennis), the start of the NFL season, and MLB pennant races competing for eyeballs. And even though the college football slate isn’t as good as last week, I think everyone knows that golf will only be competing with tennis for the few remaining eyeballs. Such is life, and the Tour fully recognizes it. But these tourneys do produce some drama, and if you’re so inclined, turn it on over to the Golf Channel and NBC to see how these Super Six finish out the pro golfing season. And as always….