Special Golf Coverage from NBCChicago

BMW Championship: Four Underdogs To Root For

Sick of Tiger Woods? There are plenty of under the radar guys to root for

By James Neveau
|  Monday, Sep 9, 2013  |  Updated 1:20 PM CDT
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BMW Championship: Four Unknown Players to Cheer On

AP

Henrik Stenson, of Sweden, waits to putt on the 11th green during practice for the U.S. Open golf tournament at Merion Golf Club, Tuesday, June 11, 2013, in Ardmore, Pa. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

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When the BMW Championship begins on Thursday morning at Conway Farms in Lake Forest, there will be an unfamiliar face atop the FedEx Cup points standings.

That's because Tiger Woods, who has won five PGA Tour events this season, was relegated to second place following a subpar finish at the Deutsche Bank Championship over Labor Day weekend. Woods finished in a tie for 65th place, finishing at 4-under par for the championship.

Meanwhile, Henrik Stenson fired a final round 66 to outduel Steve Stricker and Sergio Garcia to win the event and vault himself to the top of the FedEx Cup standings. He will lead a field of the top-70
players in that ranking to Lake Forest this week for the BMW, with the top-30 in the rankings advancing to next week's Tour Championship in Atlanta.

There are a few other interesting players who may not be known to most golf fans that are looking to continue making noise as the playoffs wear on. Graham DeLaet, who finished 83rd in July's Open Championship and missed the cut at the two events (Canadian Open, PGA Championship)
before the FedEx Cup playoffs began, has come roaring back into the picture with a second place finish at The Barclays in New York, and followed that up with a third place finish at the Deutsche Bank to vault into fifth place in the standings.

Jordan Spieth is another player who has seemingly come from nowhere to be a prime contender for the $10 million prize that goes to the FedEx Cup winner. The 20-year old started the year on the Web.com Tour (essentially the PGA Tour's minor leagues), but he has since earned a full time spot with the big boys, having won a three-way playoff at the John Deere Classic in western Illinois this summer.

Finally, there's Kevin Streelman, who has been struggling a bit recently but picked up a second place finish at The Players Championship and a third place finish at the RBC Heritage earlier in the season.

So while most fans attending the BMW Championship will be paying attention to players like Woods, Open Championship winner Phil Mickelson, and Masters champion Adam Scott, these four under the radar players will be underdogs worth rooting for.

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