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September 11, 2013

Johnson in good shape to reach Tour Championship

Coastal Carolina alumnus Dustin Johnson hasn’t missed the Tour Championship by Coca-Cola since he failed to qualify for the cash grab as a rookie on the PGA Tour in 2008.

He’s not likely to miss it for the first time in five seasons this year either.

Johnson is currently 22nd in FedEx Cup points and the top 30 at the conclusion of this week’s BMW Championship advance to East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta next week for the fourth $8 million playoff event.

More than $60 million in FedEx Cup bonuses will be awarded following the final round at East Lake, including $10 million to the FedEx Cup champion.

The PGATour.com staff extrapolated the points through the BMW Championship to estimate where each player needs to finish to advance to the Tour Championship, and it estimates Johnson must finish 45th or better this week in the 70-player tournament. The projected points needed are based on averages since 2009.

Johnson would like to play well this week and move into the top five in points, which would guarantee him the FedEx Cup championship with a win at East Lake.

He has been in the top five through the first playoff events in each of the past three years, though he has yet to claim the big prize. He won playoff events in both 2010 and 2011, and finished in the top-six in each of the first three playoff events last year.

Johnson’s playoff performance has dropped this year, with a missed cut for the first time in 14 playoff events and tie for 27th in the Deutsche Bank Championship.

Players outside of the top 30 like Graeme McDowell, Rory McIlroy, Ernie Els, Rickie Fowler, Bubba Watson, Luke Donald and Ian Poulter need to play well in Chicago to make the field next week. Lee Westwood is on the bubble at No. 30.

Golf Channel has live coverage of the BMW from 3-6 p.m. Thursday and Friday and nightly replays, while NBC has the weekend coverage from 3-6 p.m. Saturday and 1:30-6 p.m. Sunday.

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