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FedExCup Playoffs: McIlroy, Rahm favored in golf's BMW Championship

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Rory McIlroy missed the cut for the third round of last week's St. Jude Championship, but is the favorite to win the second tournament of the FedExCup Playoffs this weekend in Wilmington. Del. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/f401ae9817d68fb82cb2b91e1afae2a3/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
Rory McIlroy missed the cut for the third round of last week's St. Jude Championship, but is the favorite to win the second tournament of the FedExCup Playoffs this weekend in Wilmington. Del. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

MIAMI, Aug. 17 (UPI) -- Rory McIlroy is still favored to win this week's BMW Championship, the second leg of the FedExCup Playoffs, despite missing the third-round cut in the playoff opener last week in Memphis.

The tournament will run Thursday to Sunday at Wilmington Country Club in Wilmington, Del., and will air on Golf Channel and NBC.

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"This is the peak of the season for us as PGA Tour players," Will Zalatoris, who won the playoff opener Memphis, told reporters Sunday. "The grind continues."

McIlroy, the No. 3 player in the Official World Golf Ranking, No. 5 Jon Rahm, No. 11 Matt Fitzpatrick, No. 14 Tony Finau and No. 9 Zalatoris are the Top 5 favorites to win in Wilmington.

No. 7 Justin Thomas, defending champion Patrick Cantlay (No. 4), No. 1 Scottie Scheffler, No. 8 Collin Morikawa and No. 6 Xander Schauffele also are Top 10 contenders.

The Top 70 players from last week's St. Jude Championship qualified for the BMW Championship, but Cameron Smith and Tommy Fleetwood withdrew with injuries.

Zalatoris (3,680 points) leads the FedExCup standings, 124 points ahead of Scheffler (3,556), after his St. Jude Championship victory. Cameron Smith (2,548), Sam Burns (2,429), and Finau (2,261) rank inside the Top 5.

The winner of the BMW Championship will receive 2,000 rankings points and $2.7 million. Second place will receive 1,200 points and third place will get 760 points. Other players also will receive points, too.

Just the Top 30 golfers in the standings after the BMW Championship will advance to the tournament finale, the Tour Championship, next week in Atlanta.

"In the playoffs, you can play pretty decent and you could have missed out on this week or you can miss out on next week," Fitzpatrick told reporters Tuesday.

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"I think if you've played well all year, you deserve to be at the top. The playoffs can kind of throw that out, which is a little odd to me."

The 68-player field at the BMW Championship will not face a cut at the end of the second round, like the field did at last week's opener.

Temperatures are expected to be from the mid-60s to mid-80s, with no rain in the forecast, from Thursday through Sunday. Wind is not expected to be a major factor.

Wilmington Country Club is a Par 71, which measures 7,534 yards. The course features bent grass greens, which typically play faster than common Bermuda grass greens.

Those greens are large, which could lead to long days for poor putters. Thin fairways could hinder players known for powerful drives. The course is lined with trees and includes elevation changes throughout. Water is featured on four holes..

The leader in the FedExCup standings, after the first two tournaments of the playoffs, will start the Tour Championship at 10-under par.

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The No. 2 player will start at 8-under, No. 3 at 7-under, No. 4 at 6-under and No. 5 at 5-under. The Nos. 6 through 10 players will start at 4-under and Nos. 11 through 15 at 3-under.

The players ranked from No. 16 through 20 will start at 2-under, while Nos. 21 through 25 will start at 1-under. The final five players in the Tour Championship field will start the finale at even par.

The final players who advance to the field for the Tour Championship will compete for an $18 million first-place prize.

How to watch

All times EDT

Thursday

First round from 3 to 7 p.m. on Golf Channel

Friday

Second round from 3 to 7 p.m. on Golf Channel

Saturday

Third round from noon to 3 p.m. on Golf Channel; From 3 to 6 p.m. on NBC

Sunday

Final round from noon to 2 p.m. on Golf Channel; From 2 to 6 p.m. on NBC

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