Although Zach Johnson won The BMW Championship on Monday afternoon, and moved from near the bubble at 27th all the way up to fourth place in the FedEx Cup standings, two other players made up some valuable ground as well. Play resumed on Monday morning after torrential rains called a halt to the finish at Conway Farms on Sunday, and besides the 2007 Masters Champion, the big winners were Nick Watney, and Luke Donald. Watney had the low round on the day, and almost won the tournament.
With only 30 players moving on to East Lake for next week’s Tour Championship, Watney began the week in 34th place in the points standings, and Donald was even further back at 54th. Both players needed a miracle if they were to book reservations to Atlanta, and both came through.
Nick Watney has had a terrible 2013 season, and the only thing that has went his way, was a 64 on Monday that moved him into second place for the BMW Championship, and into 12th position in the playoffs. His last win on the tour was at the Barclays last year. He finished T9 there a few weeks back, and the second today propelled him on to Atlanta.
Luke Donald started the week in 54th position on the FedEx list, and needed a miracle at Conway Farms. He had a decided advantage by being a member, but was not able to make the big move until Monday. After a slow start on his home turf, he started coming on strong. He shot a bogey-free 67 on Saturday, but was still South of the cut line. The 66 on Monday was just what the doctor ordered. He was able sneak into 29th position, one place ahead of new bubble boy, Dustin Johnson.
Luke Donald is working with a new instructor, and is trying to improve his long game. The former number one has an excellent short game, and is deadly when he gets his putter working. His problem has always been length off the tee. He doesn’t have enough power to compete on all of the long courses currently on the PGA Tour. Because he was overhauling his swing, I didn’t think he was going to make the Tour Championship, but here he is, along with Nick Watney, on his way to Atlanta.