Dustin Johnson melted TPC Boston last week as he shot 30 under in his win at The Northern Trust. That won’t happen this week at a tougher Olympia Fields, which hosts the BMW Championship, the second of three FedEx Cup Playoffs events. A mere 70 golfers remain in the playoffs, and that number will chopped by more than half as only 30 will move on to the Tour Championship next week at East Lake.
Let’s take a closer look at this week’s contest, with odds and prop bets provided via William Hill Sportsbook.
What: BMW Championship
When: Aug. 27-30
Where: Olympia Fields — Olympia Fields, Illinois
Three things to know
1. Elite course: Olympia Fields has hosted a U.S. Open, PGA Championship and (most recently) a U.S. Amateur, and should play major championship-like depending on the setup. The site of Jim Furyk’s 2003 U.S. Open win is brawny, for sure, but it’s also nuanced, especially around the greens. It should be a bit of a diversion from a lot of the point-and-shoot tracks on the PGA Tour.
2. BMW curse: Only once in the last nine years has the person who won the BMW Championship gone on to win the FedEx Cup. This seems odd given its proximity to the last event of the year and its list of elite winners. Billy Horschel (2014) is the only golfer to go on to win the FedEx Cup following a BMW Championship win (he also won the Tour Championship that year). Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson (twice), Justin Rose and Jason Day have all failed to pull it off.
3. Rory struggles: One quiet storyline over the course of the last three months has been the relative struggles of Rory McIlroy. I say relative because Rory is graded on a different scale than almost everyone else in the sport, but he has just one top 30 and no top 10s since the PGA Tour restarted in early June. The problems are myriad — he’s struggled at times in every statistical category — but recently it’s been mostly the driver that has given him issues. This would be his worst (again, relative) driving season statistically since 2013 and his second-worst since 2009. He said on Sunday he was going to go home and “try a couple of drivers” to try and get right for this week.
Grading the field
There are certainly some big names missing out — Jordan Spieth, Justin Rose, Rickie Fowler, Brooks Koepka and Tommy Fleetwood among them — but it’s still an amazing list of the 70 best players throughout the 2019-20 PGA Tour season. There also won’t be a cut this week (or next) so we’ll see everybody for all four rounds at both events. Grade: A
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1. Kevin Kisner top 10 (+300): He’s not super long, and I don’t really expect him to win this week, but Kisner has been unreal over the last month, playing his last 10 PGA Tour rounds in 40 under par.
2. Scottie Scheffler top 20 (+110): On a course that should reward length and great driving, he’s coming in off back-to-back top-five finishes. He probably won’t win given the star power in this field, but I’m all the way in on another (at least) top 20.
BMW Championship picks
Who will win the BMW Championship, and which long shots will stun golf? Visit SportsLine now to see the projected leaderboard, all from the model that’s nailed six golf majors and is up almost $9,300 since the restart.