BMW Championship 2013: Jim Furyk and Top Contenders to Watch on Weekend

Nicholas GossCorrespondent ISeptember 14, 2013

LAKE FOREST, IL - SEPTEMBER 13: Jim Furyk lines up a birdie putt on the ninth green during the Second Round of the BMW Championship at Conway Farms Golf Club on September 13, 2013 in Lake Forest, Illinois.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

The 2013 BMW Championship is quickly becoming one of this season's best non-major tournaments.

The Conway Farms golf course hasn't proven to be that difficult over the first two rounds, but with important FedEx Cup points at stake over the next two days, the pressure on the best golfers to perform at a high level is generating some exciting action.

Let's take a look at the top contenders to keep a close eye on during the weekend rounds in suburban Chicago.


Jim Furyk

Furyk made history on Friday by becoming the sixth golfer in PGA history to shoot a 59, and as Justin Ray of ESPN points out, the veteran golfer didn't even have a mistake-free day.

After an amazing achievement, the pressure is now on Furyk to finish the job and win his first event of the 2013 season.

The key for the 43-year-old is to drive well and hit the fairway. Through two rounds, he's accomplished this by leading the tournament with 85.7 percent driving accuracy.

One area for Furyk to improve is on the par fives because he's birdied only two of six par fives through two rounds. These are holes where his impressive accuracy from the fairway can help him set up eagle opportunities on the green.

As an experienced golfer with a share of the lead going into the final round, Furyk has the best chance of anyone in the field to capture the BMW Championship.


Brandt Snedeker

Snedeker is one of six golfers with multiple PGA Tour wins this season and currently shares the lead at the BMW Championship with Jim Furyk at 11 under par.

The 32-year-old American has dominated the back nine throughout the tournament with nine birdies and just one bogey in 18 holes.

Two areas where Snedeker must improve on the weekend is driving accuracy and greens in regulation. Going into Round 3, his driving accuracy is only 71.4 percent and his GIR is 66.7 percent, which is the worst among the top five players on the leaderboard.

Snedeker's putting has been solid through two rounds, but he must give himself a better chance to hit more greens by driving the ball accurately off the tee.

With a three-shot lead entering Saturday's third round, Snedeker has a fantastic opportunity to separate himself from the field with a strong performance.


Zach Johnson

Former Masters champion Zach Johnson will begin Saturday's round in third place at eight under par. After a tremendous first round, Johnson shot a 70 on Friday, which was six strokes worse than his opening day performance.

The problem area for the 37-year-old on Friday was the back nine, where he was one over par with two bogeys after a Thursday round of four birdies and no bogeys.

As an experienced golfer, Johnson is no stranger to being in contention during the weekend rounds. If he maintains his impressive average driving distance of 267.5 yards and keeps putting well, it would be surprising if Johnson isn't among the top contenders to win the tournament late Sunday afternoon.