A lot happened in the world of sports this past weekend as both the BMW Championship and NASCAR Coke Zero 400 took place. Keep reading to get a few quick highlights from each event.
Patrick Cantlay defeats Bryson Dechambeau after a hard-fought battle that went to six playoff holes on Sunday. They were paired together the whole day and went back and forth between the lead several times.
Each player had good and bad shots that swung the lead back and forth between them. The six-hole playoff was intense as Decahmeau tried to take advantage of his strength to hit the ball way past Cantlay, but Cantlay was consistent enough with his irons and especially his putter to eventually win the playoff. Each player hit impressive shots on the fifth playoff hole to make birdie, but Cantlay had the final say as he made another birdie on the sixth playoff hole to win the tournament. More information about the BMW Championship can be found here.
After clinching the BMW Championship, Cantlay will be kicking off the final PGA tournament of the season this week (September 2-5) with a two-shot advantage over Finau. He is currently the leader in the FedEx Cup standings, but a lot can happen throughout the tournament next week.
The $15 million FedEx Cup prize will be taken home by the player who is the points leader at the end of the tournament. This aspect of the tournament means that players will be competing for two different prizes this weekend: the tournament itself and the FedEx Cup. Thirty-five players will have a chance to win the Tour Championship and the FedEx Cup next weekend.
NASCAR Coke Zero 400
Ryan Blaney won his second race of a row and third of the season on Saturday night in the Coke Zero 400.
There was a large crash, “The Big One” as many NASCAR fans call it, that took out several drivers, including Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin, Chase Elliott, Matt Dibenedetto, Brad Keselowski, Christopher Bell, and others. The crash led to a restart with two laps left to decide the winner of the race. Ryan Blaney got a huge push from Corey Lajoie, which put him in front of the field, and from there on, he blocked every move coming from behind him perfectly.
Heading into turn three on the final lap, Daniel Suarez made an attempt to pass Kevin Harvick, who was second behind Blaney. Kurt Busch tried to follow Suarez but ended up wrecking him into Harvick, causing another huge pileup on the final lap. Blaney was way ahead of the field when the caution came out, which ended the race. Read more details about the race here.
One big story throughout the race was the regular season championship winner. Kyle Larson had a 28 point lead over Denny Hamlin heading into the night and held onto first place in points to win the regular season championship because he finished above Hamlin. That gives him an additional 15 points that can be used throughout the playoffs. He already has a 47 point lead on the cutoff line and a 28 point lead over second place, so Kyle Larson should be fairly comfortable as the playoffs start next week.
Another exciting question fans were waiting to be answered by the race results was who would fill the final spot in the playoffs. Tyler Reddick had a 25 point advantage over his teammate Austin Dillon, but if a driver who was not in the Playoffs won, that would knock Reddick out. There were several drivers who had a chance of winning and making their way into the playoffs, including Chris Buescher, Corey Lajoie, and Bubba Wallace. Each of them fell a little bit short, which helped Reddick make it into the playoffs by beating his teammate Dillon by points.
The NASCAR Cup Series playoffs begin Sunday, September 5th. Make sure to look out for the first three races in the first round before four drivers are eliminated. I will be attending the race at Richmond on September 11th and reviewing it soon.