Early foothold for Rahm in familiar territory

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Jon Rahm became the third defending champion to hold the co-lead after 18 holes this season on the PGA Tour. At 8-under, Rahm is tied with Rory McIlroy and Sam Burns at the BMW Championship. Photo: WSJ
Jon Rahm became the third defending champion to hold the co-lead after 18 holes this season on the PGA Tour. At 8-under, Rahm is tied with Rory McIlroy and Sam Burns at the BMW Championship. Photo: WSJ

World No. 1 and defending BMW Championship winner Jon Rahm holds a share of the 18-hole lead for the second consecutive week.

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2012 BMW Championship winner Rory McIlroy tied his lowest score of the season (64/R4/Waste Management Phoenix Open).

In his BMW Championship debut, Sam Burns posted a 64 for the fourth time in his last eight rounds on the PGA Tour.

The top 30 players in the FedExCup at the conclusion of the BMW Championship will advance to the season-ending TOUR Championship.

Rahm became the third defending champion to hold the 18-hole lead/co-lead this season: Justin Thomas/Sentry Tournament of Champions, Sebastian Munoz/Sanderson Farms Championship.

He is six-time PGA Tour winner, including the 2021 U.S. Open; but has never successfully defended a title.

 

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Rahm has a eighth career 18-hole lead/co-lead on TOUR; 1-for-7 to date converting to victory (2018 The American Express).

His bogey-free 64 included 28 putts for a total of 117’10” of putts.

His last four starts on Tour: WD/the Memorial Tournament presented by Workday (led by six strokes after 54 holes and was forced to withdraw), Won/U.S. Open, T3/The Open Championship, 3/THE NORTHERN TRUST.

Rahm leads the Tour in top-10 finishes this season with 13.

2012 BMW Championship winner McIlroy made seven birdies and an eagle at the par-5 16th to offset one bogey (par-3 13th).

In addition to his 2012 victory, he finished inside the top-10 in 2014/T8, 2015/T4 and 2018/5th.

Since claiming his 19th career Tour title at the Wells Fargo Championship, has one top-10 finish (T7/U.S. Open).

 

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The two-time FedExCup champion has five FedExCup Playoffs titles, second only to Dustin Johnson (6).

In his BMW Championship debut, Burns made four consecutive birdies on Nos. 11-14 en route to his fourth round of 64 in his last eight rounds on Tour.

Takes his 12th lead/co-lead after any round on the Tour this season, the most of any player.

He is 0-for-1 in converting 18-hole leads/co-leads (2021 The Genesis Invitational/T3).

He is one of four players who qualified for the BMW Championship for the first time in their careers (others: Cam Davis, K.H. Lee, Erik van Rooyen).

Claimed his first career Tour title in May at the Valspar Championship.

Followed a playoff loss at the World Golf Championships-FedEx St. Jude Invitational three weeks ago with a T21 at last week’s THE NORTHERN TRUST.

 

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Following four straight birdies on Nos. 3-6, Sergio Garcia (4th/-7) birdied two of his last three holes to open with a 7-under 65 in his 11th BMW Championship and first since 2017 (T12); Garcia is No. 44 in the FedExCup as he seeks a return to the TOUR Championship for the first time since 2017.

Following bogeys on two of his first six holes, Patrick Cantlay made a career-best five consecutive birdies on Nos. 12-16 en route to a back-nine 30, tying his career-low score on the back nine (three times).

Making his fourth start in the BMW Championship, Abraham Ancer made seven birdies against one bogey en route to a 6-under 66 (T5); highlighted by his first career Tour win at the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational, five of his seven top-10 finishes this season have come in his last nine Tour starts.

2010 and 2016 BMW Championship winner Dustin Johnson (T7/-5) offset one bogey with six birdies in his 12th BMW Championship start; comes off a runner-up finish in last year’s event at Olympia Fields Country Club.

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Following last week’s victory at THE NORTHERN TRUST, FedExCup leader Tony Finau sits T7 at 5-under 67; with six birdies, a bogey and a double bogey, his only par on the inward nine came at the par-4 18th hole.

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