The 2013 FedExCup resumes Thursday morning in Chicago, as the first round of the BMW Championship tees off at Conway Farms. The BMW has become the traditional third leg of the Tour's postseason, and is typically held in the Chicagoland area. This is the first Tour test, however, for the Lake Forest layout as the club was just opened in the early 90s and has yet to host the pros.
The BMW makes the largest cut down of playoff participants, trimming the field from 70 to 30 for next week's final TOUR Championship in Atlanta. There are several big name players starting the week outside the top 30, including defending BMW champ Rory McIlroy. The Northern Irishman started the season as the No. 1 player in the world, but after a winless and chaotic summer, he slots in at No. 41 in the FedExCup standings and is on the brink of missing out on the season's final event.
The Tour will send the limited field of 70 off split tees in 24 groups, mostly threesomes. So there should be plenty of room to maneuver around any weather delays, which have significantly affected the first two legs of the playoffs in New York and Boston. The first group does not go out until 11:20 a.m. ET, with the final tee time of the day just two hours later at 1:21 p.m.
The marquee group of Tiger Woods, Henrik Stenson, and Adam Scott -- currently the top three players in the FEC standings -- tees off at 11:53 a.m. Golf Channel is set to come on the air for their customary Thursday coverage at 3 p.m., so they should catch the last few inward holes of that group's opening round. Matt Kuchar, Graham DeLaet, and Phil Mickelson are another featured late group and should be a focus of the broadcast window from 3 to 6 p.m.
Golf Channel will provide a simulcast of the TV coverage through their LiveExtra steam during those three hours. But unlike CBS and their coverage through PGATour.com, there is no "Featured Groups" stream so you'll be unable to see at least the first half of Tiger's round. Here are your media options for Thursday:
Thursday's first round coverage
3 p.m. - 6 p.m. -- Golf Channel
3 p.m. - 6 p.m. -- Golf Channel simulcast stream
Noon - 6 p.m. -- PGA Tour Radio on Sirius-XM