The BMW Championship might not be one of professional golf’s official “majors,” but it is a major competition — and it is coming to the D.C. area in August.
Caves Valley Golf Club, which is just north of Baltimore, Maryland, in Owings Mills, will play host to the tournament Aug. 26 to 29. The BMW Championship features only the top 70 players in the FedEx Cup standings and determines the final field of 30 for the season-ending TOUR Championship.
“They’re all there and they’re all playing aggressively trying to get to the next event, which is for the title,” said NBC/Golf Channel announcer Steve Sands, who grew up in Montgomery County.
“Think of it like playing in the NFC Championship Game, or in the National League Championship Series, you’ve got to get to the next level. And you have to perform well there so that’s what’s cool for sports fans and golf fans.”
There is no cut for the BMW Championship and that means the 70 golfers will compete over all four days of the tournament. U.S. Open winner Jon Rahm is the defending champion, and eight of the top 10 golfers in the FedEx Cup standings, including Rahm, are under the age of 30.
“Golf is in a strong position right now with rising stars that are seizing the moment,” Sands said. “And these young stars are winning big events, and that’s the key. It is one thing to be hyped up and to be marketed well, and then to go out there in the big events and not perform. Right now in golf, the young guys are performing.”
The competition at the BMW Championship should be intense. This season FedEx Cup bonus money available to players totals $70 million, with the winner of the FedEx Cup receiving $15 million. It will also be a chance for this region to show that it can support a tournament on the PGA Tour.
“You know, it’s important for D.C. and Baltimore to come together and support the BMW, for one reason: We don’t have a regular tour stop,” Sands said.
“I think it’d be an awesome week to showcase just how good of an area we have and make sure that golf realizes that it’s important. Not having a PGA Tour event in D.C. has always bothered me.”
The BMW Championship will not be Caves Valley Golf Club’s first time hosting a professional event.
In 2002 the U.S. Senior Open, where Don Pooley bested Tom Watson in a dramatic five-hole playoff, was played at Caves Valley, and the club also hosted the inaugural LPGA International Crown in 2014 and in 2017.