Number of strokes by which Justin Thomas will lead this week’s Tour Championship before a shot has been struck at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta. By virtue of his three-stroke victory Sunday in the BMW Championship at Medinah (Ill.) Country Club’s No. 3 Course (scores), Thomas moved to No. 1 in the FedEx Cup season points standings. Thomas, 26, closed out a 4-under 68 for a 25-under 263 total at the BMW for his 10th career victory. The top 30 advanced to the Tour Championship. Under the PGA Tour’s new formula for the season finale, Thomas will start the tournament at 10 under. Patrick Cantlay, the runner-up at the BMW and No. 2 in the standings, will start the Tour Championship at 8 under. The rest of the field will assume positions farther down the leaderboard: No. 3 Brooks Koepka at 7 under; No. 4 Patrick Reed at 6 under; No. 5 Rory McIlroy at 5 under; Nos. 6-10 at 4 under; Nos. 11-15 at 3 under; Nos. 16-20 at 2 under; Nos. 21-25 at 1 under; and Nos. 26-30 at even par.
Position on the Symetra Tour’s money list, an improvement of four spots, for Taiwan’s Ssu-Chia Cheng, who won the Firekeepers Casino Hotel Championship. Cheng birdied the last two holes for a closing 4-under 68 for a 13-under 203 total and two-stroke victory at Battle Creek (Mich.) Country Club (scores).
Number of career victories on the European Tour for Belgium’s Thomas Pieters, who ended a three-year drought by winning the D+D Czech Masters in Prague, Czech Republic. Pieters, 27, shot a final-round 3-under 69 for a 19-under 269 total at Albatross Golf Resort. Pieters, the 2012 NCAA champion while at Illinois, posted his first tour victory in the 2015 Czech Masters. Spain’s Adri Arnaus (69) finished one stroke back (scores).
Number of strokes under par that American Scottie Scheffler finished in winning the Korn Ferry Tour’s Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship in Columbus, Ohio. Scheffler, 23, shot 4-under 67 for a 272 total and two-stroke victory at Ohio State’s Scarlet Course. Scheffler, 23, a 2018 Texas graduate from Dallas, finished third on the regular-season points list and already had secured a PGA Tour card for the 2019-20 season. The victory in Ohio’s capital was Scheffler’s second triumph on the developmental tour this season (scores).
Number of starts on PGA Tour-sponsored circuits – the PGA Tour, Champions Tour, Web.com Tour and its forerunners – that Doug Barron made before he posted his first victory. Barron, 50, in his second start on the Champions Tour, won the Dick’s Sporting Goods Open in Endicott, N.Y. He shot a bogey-free 6-under 66 for a 17-under 199 and two-stroke victory over Fred Couples, who rallied into second place with a final-round 63, at En-Joie Golf Club. Barron might be best remembered in golf for having been the first player suspended under the PGA Tour’s Anti-Doping Policy. In 2009, a random drug test revealed the presence of supplemental testosterone and a beta blocker. Barron claimed that he was taking the medicine on the advice of doctors, to address low testosterone and a heart murmur. He was suspended for a year and filed a lawsuit against the Tour. Barron and the Tour reached an undisclosed settlement, and he was granted a therapeutic-use exemption to treat his low testosterone. For the past seven years, Barron bounced around on mini-tours, waiting to turn 50, before he qualified for last month’s Senior British Open, in which he tied for fifth. With the victory, he earned a Champions Tour exemption through 2020 (scores).