With the Ryder Cup just around the corner, the tension is building as we await the announcements of captain Steve Stricker to reveal the rest of his squad. There is a plethora of experience in that Team USA dressing room so far, and they come in as clear favourites in the latest golf odds to beat the current holders Europe. The tournament didn’t take place last year due to implemented travel restrictions caused by the coronavirus pandemic but America will be keen to punish their cosmopolitan opponents this time round.
One of the key components in Stricker’s roster will be Patrick Cantlay, who currently leads in the FedEx Cup and who picked up some great form by claiming the BMW Championship. Thecompetition stands any golfer in good stead for the Ryder Cup, automatically qualifying via points as well as adding some silverware and bragging rights to the collection. With that being said, here are the five most recent winners of the BMW Championship, in ascending order.
2017 – Marc Leishman
Getting things kicked off, Australian Marc Leishman won the 2017 BMW Championship in convincing style, putting his name in the headlines after years of slipping under the radar. Constantly written off in the past, Leishman stormed to victory in Lake Forrest, adding to the Arnold Palmer Invitational he had won earlier in the summer and moved into the top 15 in the official world rankings.
2018 – Keegan Bradley
Sometimes in golf, grit and determination preservers over talent and ability, not to discredit the work of Keegan Bradley in 2018, but his first playoff victory and first PGA Tour win was more down to his hard work than golfing qualities.Although, his ball striking was a big reason he qualified in the first place, even if it wasn’t on display as much in Newton Square: “I had missed over 10 cuts. I was in jeopardy of not making the Playoffs. I was really struggling,” he said.
2019 – Justin Thomas
A tenth tour win for the experienced American, Justin Thomas picked up the Championship in record-setting fashion with a final score of 25-under par. He outlasted Cantlay and Hideki Matsuyama to capture a first BMW Championship in Medinah Country Club, Illinois.
2020 – Jon Rahm
Unfortunately, due to the coronavirus pandemic, there were no spectatorsin attendance to witness the first Spaniard on this list, Jon Rahm, claim victory in the 2020 edition of the BMW Championship. Rahm lived up to the golf predictions and dispatched Dustin Johnson in a thrilling playoff, even if there were spectators in attendance, the whole of Olympia Fields would have fell silent during his 66-foot birdie, which ultimately earnt him victory.
2021 – Patrick Cantlay
The most recent winner of the competition, Cantlay held his nerve in sudden death to beat fellow Californian Bryson DeChambeau. It was DeChambeau who made the headlines with his off-course antics, swearing at a supporter post-match, but that can’t overshadow the good work of Cantlay, who remained composed when the going got tough and displayed ice cool nerves — something that will certainly benefit Team USA in the Ryder Cup.