With the Tour Championship beginning this weekend, the best players on the planet will duke it out for the $10 million prize. But I wanted to share my experience at the BMW Championship at Conway Farms Golf Club here in the Chicago area.
As we know, Jason Day won (Yet again) beating Daniel Berger by five strokes for his fourth win in his last six starts. His win has now created one of the most interesting Player of the Year conversations ever on the PGA Tour.
Jordan Spieth was a run away at first but now with Jason Day’s wins, it’s a whole other story. One thing Jordan has is two majors as opposed to Jason’s one major but you can argue that the pace that Jason has one could win him the award as well.
My experience at the BMW Championship was fun. The Tuesday practice round was probably the busiest day for me as that was where I had the chance to take pictures as Saturday, nobody was allowed to take pictures except the photojournalists.
The practice round was pretty fun as you were able to get more close and personal with the players and was a laid back environment. Exploring Conway Farms was interesting as it is quite a hilly course with a cool layout.
The ninth hole was probably my favorite hole on the course. A beautiful hole with a great view for fans and a unique slope on the green that dropped down like a roller coaster on the left side.
With bunkers on the right, it could be a nightmare for those recovery shots as the if you hit a little too far, then that ball is rolling down the slope. Tom Fazio, the designer was quite clever with this layout.
Other things you see are BMW cars which are in the main location, near the putting green where the players practiced as well as motorcycles. Another thing that caught my eye was a putting contest where you get a couple of chances to sink a putt on a cool replica of one of the Conway Farms holes.
Not sure what the prize was because well, I’m an idiot, and idiots don’t know things. It did have to do with the Chick Evans Scholarship Fund (As pictured) which awards scholarships to caddies all around which is very cool and the WGA (Western Golf Association, loooong time organization based in Golf, IL) is heavy duty when it comes to caddies and it’s great.
On the putting green, many fans had the oportunity to see the players up close such as Bubba Watson and Dustin Johnson. Of course, when DJ walked past some fans, one fan had to say something about Paulina Gretzky, DJ’s female friend but that’s totally expected and he knew that.
Some other golfers that were putting on the green were Kevin Na, J.B. Holmes, Rickie Fowler and Sergio Garcia among others. Later on I spotted Henrik Stenson as well working with the flatstick.
Walking over to the driving range, I had the chance to see some players pound golf balls into oblivion. There was also boxes of Lou Malnati’s pizza that was by the range as well for the players (Pizza before practice? Wouldn’t that slow your swing down?).
Some of the players that were there swinging were J.B. Holmes once again, Bill Haas, Hunter Mahan, Tony Finau and then of course, Jason Day. When Jason was setting up, that’s when all the loud whispering started.
“Oh look, it’s Jason Day!”
And he didn’t disappoint, hitting some terrific shots on the range his swing was perfect. No wonder he’s the new number one male player in the world.
Over at the short game area, I spotted Scott Piercy and Patrick Reed hitting some shots. Scott was chit chatting on the phone as he was taking one-handed practice swings. I asked one of the Green Coat gentlemen (They are called “Green Coats” and are special members of Conway Farms) if he thought I may be able to get a quick interview with Scott and he said “Probably not. The players probably don’t want to be disturbed while practicing”.
Understandable and I was there as a fan and not a media member but was still trying to see if I can get some opportunities as a fan/media member. So I’m sure it was easy for me not to be taken seriously, not to mention I’m only 21 years old and have the face and voice of a 16 or 17 year old.
Nonetheless, it was really cool getting a chance to see these guys up close. Watching Patrick Reed hitting chips and pitches, he was attacking the hole on the green and even holed out one of his shots.
When I went to the ninth hole, I saw Jordan Spieth and Jimmy Walker working on their short game on the tricky green. Seeing the two best putters on the planet grouped together was very interesting and as expected, there was a solid crowd around the two.
I recorded Jordan’s bunker skills on the ninth and as usual, made it look pretty easy:
— Colin GP Mieczkowski (@ChiGolfRadio) September 16, 2015
Also had the chance to see the trophies that were on display:
The legendary J.K. Wadley trophy which has been awarded to the winner of the BMW Championship for a loong time.
This is the BMW Championship trophy. You see the winner normally hold both this trophy and the J.K. Wadley.
And of course, *GASP*, the FedEx Cup which the players will be battling for this weekend at East Lake:
I headed over to the merchandise tent to check out some of the goods that was there. Of course you had some cool polos, golf jackets, hats, etc.
These are some of the hats:
And here some of the cool Conway Farms T-shirts you were able to get:
Among other things were the cool CF poster and Desk Caddy.
These putter head covers were pretty awesome too. There were some driver head covers as well but apparently the picture didn’t save as I was kinda rapid fire taking pics:
I’m a sucker for cool collectibles and these ball markers were pretty sweet:
Use one for the green, carry one for good luck and use the other for display in your home or office perhaps? Pretty awesome.
This bear also caught my attention, rocking his BMW Championship shirt.
Bears are terrific collectibles:
I wound up getting the bear on Tuesday and the ball markers and the blue hat on Saturday.
The bear’s name is “Da homie Teddy” in case you were wondering.
During my time at Conway, I ran into a gentleman named Dave. He spotted me as I walked past the tiny members-only house which was right across from the final three holes.
Dave is one of the longtime employees of Conway Farms. Best way to describe him is just a cool, real dude.
I told him I was coming back on Saturday and I so I made sure to swing by again. Just a super cool dude.
Since I was a media member disguised as a fan, I made sure to have my audio recorder ready to roll in case of any interview opportunities.
I almost had a quick interview with Kevin Chappel but he said he had to go as his caddy was already off to the races. It was a nice try and at least he did say something which is good.
Another close call was on my out when I spotted Tony Finau and like Kevin, was pretty close but he also had to jet. Then I thought to myself that maybe I shouldn’t had been like “Hey you got a quick minute for an interview?” and should have just been like “Hey Tony, can I ask you a quick question?” and had the recorder ready to roll.
Even one question would’ve been an accomplishment, especially with a young rising star like Tony. Nonetheless, interviews weren’t necessarily the goal here, it just so happens I got close.
The goal here was just to take in the experience and write about it. And quite an experience it was.
And yes, Da Homie Teddy was in my hand when I was trying to talk to Tony. Yeah, I know what you’re thinking!
On Saturday, things we’re definitely more hectic. There was cheering from all over the course so you know a player did something amazing.
It was awfully muddy outside due to the rain in the morning and my Nikes got wrecked. Luckily, I wasn’t rocking my Fubus which are my swag shoes.
Golf Channel crew members and Conway Farms employees were scattered everywhere. Things started to get really crowded over at the beautiful ninth hole where Rory McIlroy and Dustin Johnson were playing.
And again, the loud whispers started.
“Oh look, it’s Rory and Dustin!”.
Stuff like that.
They both hit OK approach shots on the ninth. I saw Rory again on one of the final three holes and he hit a bomb that split the middle of the fairway. Just an explosive swing.
There was another gentleman I met who was wearim a suit and it turns out he was also a long time employee of Conway Farms. A terrific guy and he said he has been there for a little over 20 years.
I saw many fans running towards the clubhouse like crazy and I had no idea what was going on. Turns out Jason Day and Jordan Spieth were heading back and everyone was trying to get some autographs.
On the way out on Saturday, I saw a large crowd gather around the putting green, waiting for Jordan to sign some more stuff. Jordan was the only one on the green as he had just finished his round.
Overall, the BMW Championship was a solid experience and was at such a beautiful course like Conway Farms with mansions in the backdrop on some holes (Golf stereotypes jokes in 3..2..1..). And Tom Fazio has once again proved why he’s one of the best designers in the business.
Big thanks to the folks at the BMW Championship for giving me the passes for Tuesday and Saturday, to be able to write about this experience.
Hopefully there will be many more in the future! It’s been real Conway Farms!
Be sure to follow me on Twitter @ChiGolfRadio for no apparent reason!
Posted in Experiences and tagged BMW Championship, Conway Farms, Golf by Colin GP Mieczkowski with no comments yet.
There’s skill, then there’s luck. That’s what happened during the Thursday round of the BMW Championship at Conway Farms.
Rickie Fowler was on Conway’s 16th hole, when his approach landed and bounced off Jordan Spieth’s ball and ended up landing near the cup. The ball seemed as if it was going go way too far but then Rickie was able to have a sigh of relief after the ball did what it did.
Check out the crazy shot below!
Rickie Fowler just got the best break you’ll see today. http://t.co/OAILAT0mBm
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) September 17, 2015
That’s nuts. Ricochets have happened before but considering the kind of approach Rickie had made it more interesting. This happened just 14 holes after Jordan got an ace on the par-3 second hole at Conway. It’s all crazy I tell ya!
“Be enough.” Exactly enough. A hole-in-one for Jordan Spieth. http://t.co/8u47r7Gd2k
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) September 17, 2015
Yup. All crazy!
Follow me on Twitter @ChiGolfRadio! Will be at the Saturday round of the BMW Championship at Conway Farms and will write about the general experience sometime soon after!
Posted in Fun Golf News, Golf Videos and tagged BMW Championship, Conway Farms, Golf, Jordan Spieth, Rickie Fowler by Colin GP Mieczkowski with no comments yet.
Accurate golfers have been the hot players at this year’s BMW Championship as we’ve seen Jim Furyk, Steve Stricker and Zach Johnson dominate the field but only one can come out on top. Many, including myself thought Jim Furyk had a legitimate chance to pull it out but it was former Masters champion Zach Johnson who came out victorious. Zach showcased his amazing accuracy off the tee and in the fairway as he is known for and finished strong with a 16 under par win. Behind him, almost coming out of nowhere was Nick Watney who finished with an amazing 7 under score for the day. Nick, who’s one of the more powerful hitters off the tee showed a great display golf which could have easily been his victory. Watney is also one of the best on Tour when it comes to hitting the greens from the fairway as he is 13th on Tour in that category and he was certainly taking advantage. I think Zach just handled the pressure better which he can do at times and being a player as accurate as he is definitely helps a lot. Zach was on fire all day and finished with a terrific 65 on the day while Watney shot a phenomenal 64.
Johnson looks to have the edge going into the Tour Championship after his stellar performance and to knock off a streaking Jim Furyk. Watney will also hae some moment as he had the best round of the day despite coming up short of the victory and Watney may have slightly more tools in the bag as he too is fairly accuarte and he has a little more pop in his driver however one main advantage that Johnson has over Watney is his putting. Watney is not very good on the greens but his accuracy with his ions and wedges help him get close enough to the cup for an easy putt but if he has a long putt then it could be trouble for him. Johnson has a much better chance to make putts from 20 or more feet out and that’s a huge advantage to go along with his incredible accuracy. Jim Furyk ended up collapsing, finishing with round of 71 falling three shots back of Johnson. So, the Tour Championship should be fun as there should be a ton of blood (Or Coca Cola) thirsty players looking to reedeem themselves after having a shot at the BMW. You can view the full BMW Championship leaderboard by clicking here, courtesy of Fox Sports.
Posted in News and tagged BMW Championship, BMW Championship Leader, Chicago, Golf News, Jim Furyk, News, News, PGA, PGA Tour, Pro Golf, sports, Tiger Woods, Zach johnson by Colin GP Mieczkowski with no comments yet.
Well folks, it looks like the BMW Championship has been delayed again as the play looks to continue Monday as the play during the final round stopped at 2:28 CST and looks to start fresh with some great golf and hopefully some great weather in Lake Forest. We’ll see if Jim Furyk will still have the fire from when he shot an incredible second round 59, making him only the sixth player to do so. It wouldn’t surprise me if he was still on fire like “boomshakalaka” going into Monday and now it seems more questionable why he was left off the President’s Cup squad because the team could sure use his streaky and accurate playing. Like I’ve said in the previous article, you also have to watch out for Zach Johnson who is as or even more accurate than Jim is but doesn’t quite have the streaky ability that Jim has.
If anyone could knock Furyk off his game then that would be a shocker because the way he is playing right now makes him very tough to beat and he’s been hot throughout the entire playoffs hitting beautiful iron shots and making great putts and is also taking advantage of his wedge shots from all over the golf course. It’s still anyone’s tournament to win and that’s why this is very exciting but Jim Furyk is going to be a monster to deal with when it comes down to it unless you see some clutch play form someone like Steve Stricker who is capable of getting hot himself. So it should be a really fun Monday at the BMW Championship and it should be an exciting Chi-Town finish.
Posted in News and tagged BMW Championship, BMW Championship Leader, Chicago, Chicago Golf, FedEx Cup Playoffs, Jim Furyk, Lake Forest Illinois, News, PGA, PGA Tour, PGA Tour Rain Delay, sports, Tiger Woods by Colin GP Mieczkowski with no comments yet.
Hello all of you beautifuls and handsomes out there! Jim Furyk who has as of late been showing his face all over the top of the leaderboard the last few tournaments and now he’s in the lead YET AGAIN, you heard me right, Mr. Furyk is towards the top yet again. He’s been on fire in the last five or six tournaments except for his 27th place finish at the Deutsche Bank Championship which is still not too shabby. He’s without a doubt a guy to look out for going into the final round. The one thing that will help him win is his dangerously good accuaracy with that beautiful signature swing of his. One thing I’ve always said about Furyk is that although he doesn’t hit the ball to the moon (Even though why would you, that would be considered out of bounds!), he sure knows how to hit it down the fairway and his putting has always been solid. He has a very good chance to win and after his previous outing at the Deutsche Bank Championship, he would like nothing better but to get a glorious playoff victory. However, if he wants to do so, he has to go up against a tough top five with those golfers being Steve Stricker, Brandt Snedeker, Zach Johnson and Tiger Woods so Jim will have his work cut out for him no doubt. Zach Johnson is in the top five and he’s also extremely accurate off the tee, by far one of the most accurate hitters on the Tour so that’s one guy to watch out for for sure. One of my early “guys to look out for” is in second place right now and that of course would be Wisconsin native Steve Stricker who is pretty much an all around player despite his lack of power off the tee. He’s very accurate, tough around the greens and can drop putts like dimes.
He’s also no stranger to top finishes as he has quietly had one of the best seasons on Tour this year. After nearly winning the Deutsche Bank Championship finishing in second, he would love to get a victory at this legendary tournament at the BMW Championship and show why he’s still the real deal on Tour and as we know, when “Strick” is hot he’s on fire like “Boomshakalaka!” As for the special announcement, I’m sure you all have noticed already due to the banner I have up on the site but the GP Golf Report was placed third at the Silver Dome Awards by the Illinois Broadcaster’s Association for Best Station/Program website and I have to say that it is an absolute honor to win this legendary award taking third after beating out tons and tons of entries beating out several college radio station sites and such and it means the world to me that this site made it this far so quickly and I thank all of you guys for supporting me thus far and liking and commenting on articles and giving me the hits and it’s unbelievable to know that I’m already less than 200 hits away from reaching 1,000 and it couldn’t have been done if it weren’t for you guys reading and sharing the site and be sure to keep doing so because it really is powerful and it really does help. Thank you so much and I look forward to continuing writing great content and posting great audio for you all. Again thank you so much and remember that anything is possible that you set your mind to (Hear that kids?)!
Posted in News and tagged 2013 PGA Tour, BMW Championship, BMW Championship Leader, FedEx Cup Playoffs, ILBA Silver Dome Awards, Illinois Broadcaster's Association, Jim Furyk, News, PGA, PGA Tour, PGA Tour News, PGA Tour Stats, Tiger Woods by Colin GP Mieczkowski with no comments yet.
Ahhh yes, the BMW Championship, that last major step to reaching the Tour Championship (The Tour Championship makes me thirsty for Coca Cola) is upon us now and the field as usual will be great for the 3rd oldest PGA Tour tournament (Formerly it was the Western Open). This is the time where I make my pick for who will take the crown this week. The guy I chose is somebody who has had quite an impressive season and is currently ranked second in the World Golf Rankings. His name is Mr. Adam Scott and here’s why I think he will win. Ever since he won the Masters, he’s been towards the top of plenty of leaderboards and the way he’s played in these playoffs have been very solid. He’s an all around type of player who can hit for power, accuracy and is a solid putter and that’s a perfect combination to take down Conway Farms. He’s the second best player for a reason and I think he’ll come out the gates flying and making plenty of early birdies and no don’t say anything about his long putter because if it was cheating he’d probably win every tournament which he hasn’t.
It’s your PUTTING STROKE not the putter. Anyway I think his chances are high at this tournament and there’s no doubt he’ll at least be threat if he doesn’t pull out the W. So, be sure to keep up with world no.2 Adam Scott as he tries to put his name on a list of legends that have played this legendary golf tournament.Other great golfers to look out for are Phil Mickelson, Deutsche Bank Championship winner Henrik Stenson and Steve Stricker and we know “Strick” is going to be hungry since he’s been fairly quiet this season but now I’d like to take this time to say thank you to all of the firefighters, police offers & everyone in the medical field male and female who served and tried to help as many people as they can during the 9/11 attacks and to the media for covering it all and being professional as they can. I’d also like to say that I wish nothing but the best for the families of the lost ones and that there’s always a way to make it through as long as God is on your side. Finally, I’d like to tell the entire world, that we should never, ever forget what happened on September 11, 2001.
Posted in News and tagged 9/11, Adam Scott, Blogging, BMW Championship, FedEx Cup Playoffs, News, PGA, PGA Tour, Pro Golf, September 11 2001, sports, Steve Stricker, Tiger Woods by Colin GP Mieczkowski with no comments yet.
As we know, the PGA Tour playoffs is off to a start and many names are all over the leaderboard at the Barclays at Liberty National Golf Club in New Joisey (Jersey), and looks to be another great finish at the beautiful new course. I hear people complaining about Liberty National’s design but honestly I think it’s fine and the scenery really helps that. The Barclays is always a great tournament to watch and for good reason because the first tournament of the playoffs can always be a challenge especially for those new to it. There’s also a lot of people who complain about the playoffs and the FedEx Cup as a whole and it really drives me nuts because there’s too much complaining and not enough golf and it’s really sad, I mean there’s complaining in every sport but in golf, the complaints are about the most silliest things and it’s really eye rolling. Just enjoy the game, there’s going to be changes over time, it’s called, the past, the present and the future, yeah you probably heard of them, they’re great friends, they always hang out and hit the golf course, past hits 250 off the tee, present hits 300+ off the tee and future hits…??? off the tee. I just say, deal with it, I understand these golfers are passionate which is good especially with a lot of athletes nowadays just playing for the riches, glamour and glory.
The problem however is the fact they they can be really annoying, it’s like “just play golf please!”, because the FedEx Cup playoffs extends the season and gives the golf season an actual ending, rather than, play the majors and then end the season with a bunch of other random tournaments, don’t get me wrong, every tournament to me is fun BUT it feels more dramatic when you have the FedEx Cup playoffs, without question. Am I saying the FedEx Cup is bigger than the majors? Absolutely not, but none of the majors are the very last tournament of the PGA Tour season though making it where the season doesn’t have a proper ending. There’s always complaints when every little new thing comes to golf, do you want us to stick with spoons and jaggers (wedges and irons back in the day)? Thought so, now, if we did still use them then I’m cool with it because I just love golf as you do too. But the complaints need to stop, I think the playoffs is great for the game and you have a great course in East Lake that hosts the championship each year and that’s wonderful when you get a chance to play on Bobby Jones’ home course in Atlanta.
I also love the playoffs because of the BMW Championship (Originally the Western Open, the third oldest golf tournaments in PGA Tour history and was once considered a major) which usually takes place in Chicago which is special for me being a Chicago kid but it’s unfortunate that it’s not called the Western Open anymore but nonetheless, it’s the same tournament but with a different name. As we know, the BMW Championship is always one of the great tournaments of the year and always unleashes the true talent out of some players. Make a long story short, the FedEx Cup playoffs is fine, stop complaining and enjoy this beautiful game of golf. Golf is golf, no matter what changes and FedEx Cup playoffs is just another way for us to enjoy, cherish and celebrate this great sport. From Chicago with love, stay golf minded everyone!
Posted in News and tagged Blogging, Blogs, BMW Championship, FedEx, FedEx Cup Playoffs, Matt Kuchar, News, PGA, PGA Tour, Pro Golf, The Barclays, Tiger Woods, WordPress by Colin GP Mieczkowski with no comments yet.