The BMW Championship has had plenty of big-name winners in its short history.
Jon Rahm is the reigning champion of the second event on the FedEx Cup schedule. Justin Thomas, Dustin Johnson and Jason Day are among the winners since the event began in 2007.
A victory at Caves Valley Golf Club puts any player in the best possible situation going into the Tour Championship. That amplifies the motivation to win and should bring out the best in the top golfers in the world.
Each of the first two events on the FedEx Cup playoffs schedule awards 2,000 points to the winner, so a 20-spot jump in the standings is possible, as we saw with Tony Finau after his triumph at the Northern Trust.
The field of 69 golfers playing in Owings Mills, Maryland have plenty of motivation to get to the top. The Tour Championship begins with a staggered scoring format that hands an advantage to the top-ranked players.
Finau, Rahm and Cameron Smith sit on top of the standings after their strong performances at the Northern Trust, but the order at the top could change with one terrific weekend from someone further down the chart.
All eyes will also be on the cut line. The top 30 players in the standings qualify for the Tour Championship. Patrick Reed is the only name in the top 70 not participating at the BMW Championship. He came down with an illness that put him in the hospital last week.
FedEx Cup Standings
1. Tony Finau: 3,348
2. Jon Rahm: 2,763
3. Cameron Smith: 2,739
4. Patrick Cantlay: 2,302
5. Justin Thomas: 2,218
6. Collin Morikawa: 2,171
7. Jordan Spieth: 2,150
8. Harris English: 2,118
9. Bryson DeChambeau: 1,989
10. Abraham Ancer: 1,941
Full standings can be found on PGATour.com.
Finau's win at Liberty National Golf Club put him into the Tour Championship. He is more than 2,000 points ahead of the some of the players on the bubble.
The 31-year-old can use the BMW Championship as a chance to hone his skills ahead of the trip to East Lake Golf Club next week.
Rahm and Smith sit in comfortable positions as well since they have a 400-point gap over Patrick Cantlay in fourth place.
The top places in the FedEx Cup standings come with great rewards. The No. 1 player heading into the Tour Championship starts that event at 10 under. The No. 2 player begins at eight under and the third-ranked golfer starts at seven under in the staggered-start format.
Each of the 69 golfers in BMW Championship field will have four rounds to improve their respective positions to clinch spots in next week's season finale.
A BMW Championship victory is more valuable to the likes of Harry Higgs, Phil Mickelson and Mackenzie Hughes. The final 15 golfers in the FedEx Cup standings have to make up anywhere from 350 to 400 points just to get close to the Tour Championship cutoff.
At least one spot in the top 30 should be up for grabs with Reed out of the tournament. The 31-year-old is currently 26th and holds a 181-point lead over 31st-place Kevin Kisner.
At the Northern Trust, 10 players made a jump of 10 or more places in the FedEx Cup standings. Erik van Rooyen, Alex Noren and Tom Hoge all jumped into the top 50 by finishing on the first page of the leaderboard.
A significant points jump could be more difficult to achieve this week because of the trimmed field. There is not a situation in play for some of the golfers to leap over others that missed the cut.
The other dynamic in play is the unfamiliarity with Caves Valley. The Maryland course has not been used much on the PGA Tour circuit, so it may take a round for players to adjust to it.
The 69-player field has more margin for error on Thursday with no cut line. Anyone who cards a bad first-round score still has a chance to surge up the leaderboard on Saturday and Sunday.