This week’s BMW Championship at Conway Farms is the third round of the FedEx Cup playoffs and it is where the field is trimmed from 70 players to 30 players. Paraphrasing a line from a 1980’s futuristic action movie, Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome: “Seventy men enter, thirty men leave…seventy men enter, thirty men leave.”
On the heels of the thrilling golf shown in the first two rounds of this year’s playoffs, the Northern Trust at Glen Oaks Club, and the Dell Technologies Championship at TPC Boston, the excitement in Lake Forest, IL should match that of ‘Bartertown’, but without the rowdiness. And, with the top seventy FedEx Cup point leaders present and competing at Conway Farms, including Dustin Johnson, Justin Thomas, and Jordan Spieth, that means there will be more star-power in attendance in Lake Forest than at a handful of back-to-back Mel Gibson films.
A 100% effort must be put forth by every one of the 70 golfers at the BMW Championship if they desire to advance to be one of the 30 finalists in The Tour Championship, the following week, at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta where a champion will be crowned and awarded $10 million.
A 100% effort was already put forth by Conway Farms’ superintendent Connor Healy and his staff who have the grounds in superb playing condition. High praises as well go out to the Western Golf Association who have organized more than 2000 volunteers whose efforts allow the full week of the BMW Championship to run smoothly.
Kind gestures by the WGA are extended to two groups of fans in the form of free admission. Active duty, active reserve, retirees, and veterans of any branch of service will receive complimentary admission each day of the tournament. Also, juniors age16 and under receive complimentary grounds admission when accompanied by an adult. No ticket is needed for juniors who should proceed to the main gate for tournament entry. There is a limit of 4 juniors for each ticketed adult. Juniors may even enter the Trophy Club, or the BMW Owners’ Pavilion, without a ticket when accompanied by a properly ticketed adult.
Conway Farms has successfully hosted two previous editions of the BMW Championship with Zach Johnson winning the title in 2013 and Jason Day emerging victorious in 2015, but 2017 is its third and final hosting. Next year the BMW Championship moves eastward to the Philadelphia area at Aronimink Golf Club in Newtown Square, PA, before returning to the Chicago area in 2019 to Medinah Country Club.
The week’s pre-tournament festivities began on Tuesday with PGA Tour star Robert Streb offering his time and advice on golf to the members of the Freedom Golf Association, military veterans with disabilities. The BMW grounds were busy on Wednesday with the Gardner Heidrick Pro-Am providing the opportunity for three amateurs to play Conway Farms Golf Club with a professional from the BMW Championship field; the $11,000 entry fee donation benefiting the Evans Scholars Foundation.
As a tribute to the Conway Farms finale, the following photo gallery is a presentation of this year’s happenings at the 2017 BMW Championship including the grounds, pavilions, golfers, fans, and BMW vehicles that have horsepower nearly equal to Mad Max’s Falcon police interceptor: