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2012 BMW Championship Preview: Rory McIlroy Eyes Fedex Cup Title

Can Tiger Woods catch Rory McIlroy in the Fedex Cup standings?

Sep 5, 2012; Carmel, IN, USA; Rory McIlroy talks to the media during a press conference during the Pro-Am before the BMW Championship at Crooked Stick Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE
Sep 5, 2012; Carmel, IN, USA; Rory McIlroy talks to the media during a press conference during the Pro-Am before the BMW Championship at Crooked Stick Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE

As the third week of the PGA tour playoffs gets underway at the 2012 BMW Championship at Crooked Stick, the remaining players in the field are looking to overtake Rory McIlroy for the top spot in the Fedex Cup standings.

McIlroy has the overall lead of the Cup thus far with 4,799 points, and could clinch the cup if he claims the title this week. Nick Watney is in second place with 3,468.37 points, while Tiger Woods in third with 3,216.74 points, the only other player aside from McIlroy with 3 wins on tour this year. Brandt Snedeker isn't far behind with 3,194.45, while Louis Oosthuizen is fifth with 2,909.06. Oosthuizen is the only player in the top five without a victory on tour this season.

Only the top 70 players in the Fedex Cup standings will play this week, with the top 30 in the standings after the tournament moving on to the Tour Championship next week at East Lake.

This will be the first PGA Tour event played at Crooked Stick, though it has hosted a number of big tournaments in the past like the 1991 PGA Championship, 2005 Solheim Cup and 2009 U.S. Senior Open. The track is set up for 7,516 yards this week, making it the fourth longest course the players will play this season.

One hole to keep an eye on this week is the par 4 18th. This 457-yard beast has a lake guarding the right side of the hole and a deep valley on the left. There's also three difficult bunkers surrounding the green, leaving almost no room for error for the players this week. It could easily play as the hardest hole on the course.

You can catch the action on the Golf Channel from noon to 3 p.m. PT on Thursday and Friday, 12:30 to 3 p.m. on Saturday and 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Sunday. NBC will take over from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. PT on Saturday and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday.

For more on the 2012 BMW Championships and the game of golf in general, make your way over to SB Nation's dedicated golf hub.