The third leg of the PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup starts Thursday at Conway Farms Golf Club in Lake Forest, Illinois. The tournament will set the field for the final, elite 30 players to take part in the TOUR Championships next week in Atlanta.
It’s the second time in two years that Conway Farm has hosted the tournament. It also did so in 2015 when Jason Day won with a 22-under, including a personal-best 61 in the first round.
Dustin Johnson is the defending champion of the tournament and is after his second win in three legs of the FedEx Cup.
Notable groups and tee times for Thursday.
9:33 a.m. – Sergio Garcia, Phil Mickelson, Charles Howell III. By winning The Masters, Garcia has had no problem reaching this stage. He’ll have to push a little extra to make the TOUR Finals, as he’s presently 34th. He is a top 5 competitor currently in the European Tour’s Race to Dubai. Mickleson has had a drab year by his own standards, and needs a push as well; he’s currently 36th.
10:22 a.m. – Marc Leishman, Paul Casey, Brooks Koepka. Numbers 7, 8, and 9 in the current FedEx standings, and all three separate by just 132 points. Their climb to the top will be a rigorous one though; No. 7 Leishman trails leader Jordan Spieth by 2,987 points.
10:33 a.m. – Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Dustin Johnson. Not too bad, right? The top two players in the world and the top three men in the FedEx Cup race. Not to mention three of the four Major winners this year. Spieth and Thomas are well known for their friendship, and just 27 points separates them in the standings. World #1 Johnson is 421 points behind Spieth – chump change at this point in the competition. This year, Thomas has five wins, Johnson 3. The only other player with 3 is Hideki Matsuyama. Between the three of them, Thomas, Spieth and Johnson have 29 top 10 finishes this year.
11:17 a.m. – Martin Laird, Ollie Schneiderjans, Rory McIlroy. I’ll be honest, every time I see Ollie Schneiderans’ name on a leaderboard, I think he’s the new Defense of the Dark Arts professor at Hogwarts. This trio is notable mostly for McIlroy, the defending FedEx champion. He’s currently 51st, so he’ll need a big finish to get back to Atlanta.