In a Monday finish forced by Tropical Storm Henri, Tony Finau ended a five-year drought with a playoff victory over Cameron Smith at the Northern Trust. Finau was 50-1 to earn the win and he did just to secure his spot as part of Team USA at the Ryder Cup next month. World No. 1 Jon Rahm, who had at least a share of the lead through three rounds at Liberty National – and through 14 holes on Sunday – faltered down the stretch, making bogey on two of his last four holes to finish third and out of the playoff by two shots. Rahm joined the list of recent 54-hole leaders who were unable to close it out on Sunday. It’s now 14 straight PGA Tour events, dating to Phil Mickelson at the PGA Championship, in which the 54-hole leader/co-leader was unable to emerge victorious.
This week's BMW Championship field is whittled down to the top 70 players in the FedEx Cup Playoff standings. Rahm (13-2) was the leader or co-leader after the first three rounds over the weekend as he led the field for both SG: Approach and SG: Tee-To-Green before his Monday disappointment. Olympic gold medalist Xander Schauffele (18-1) is back in his wheelhouse in a shorter field at a no-cut event. Justin Thomas (18-1) was the first-round co-leader at the Northern Trust and his T-4 finish was his first top 5 anywhere since winning The Players in March. Collin Morikawa (20-1) did not practice at all last week due to a pinched nerve in his back, and it showed as he missed the cut. Jordan Spieth (20-1) had an eventful 73rd-place finish over the weekend. In Friday's round, Spieth shot 62, including back-to-back eagles. On Monday, he shot a 79 that included six bogeys, consecutive triple bogeys, four birdies and six pars.
Dustin Johnson (22-1), who missed the cut last week, was the defending champion at the Northern Trust, but his title defense got off to an odd start — and without a driver — after he noticed a crack in the crown of the clubhead just minutes before his first round. Johnson had a 3-wood in his car, though, which was retrieved and brought to him on the second hole. Brooks Koepka (25-1) and Bryson DeChambeau (28-1) both had nondescript T-31 finishes at the Northern Trust. Meanwhile, Smith (25-1) will try to recover from giving the tournament away to Finau when he hit his tee shot out of bounds on the first playoff hole. Louis Oosthuizen (28-1) returns after withdrawing from the last two events with a neck injury. Rory McIlroy (28-1) and Patrick Cantlay (30-1) are both looking to rebound from disappointing showings last week. As for Finau (30-1), his next win may or may not come this week, but surely another five-year winless streak looks highly unlikely.