The first event of the FedEx Cup Playoffs is done and dusted and following it, just the top 70 players on the standings now advance to Chicago for the second event, the BMW Championship. The action gets underway on Thursday night and as usual, we have you covered with a full preview and betting tips for the event below!
It’s been one of the stranger PGA Tour season’s in history and the penultimate event of the season will get underway on Thrusday night this week as the 70 strong field head to Plympia Fields Country Club in Chicago.
Players will have one thing on their mind this week, secure a placing high enough to earn a spot in the top 30 in the FedEx Cup standings to qualify for next weekend’s Tour Championship at East Lake Golf Course.
Five players entered the top 70 and five players exited at the conclusion of the Northern Trust on the weekend. Doc Redman, Sung Kang, Denny McCarthy, Phil Mickelson, Henrik Norlander and Xinjun Zhang all sat just inside the top 70 before the tournament started but they were knocked out by Alex Noren, Harry Higgs, Russell Henley, Robby Shelton, Jason Kokrak and Louis Oosthuizen.
After the changes, the 70 strong field for the BMW Championship is set and it is extremely star-studded. Tiger Woods will play back to back tournaments for the first time in over a year, and he will need a strong performance as he currently sits outside the cut line for the Tour Championship in 57th place on the FedEx Cup standings.
With the win at the Northern Trust, Dustin Johnson moved into 1st place in the standings and nipping at his heels are the likes of Justin Thomas, Webb Simpson, Daniel Berger and Collin Morikawa.
Olympia Field Country Club, located about 35 minutes from Chicago, is a 7,366 yard Par 70. It is an absolute monster of a golf course, that boasts a Par 3 at over 250 yards and two Par 5’s both over 600 yards. Long hitters off the tee will be our play this weekend, as it will give them the best chance to make birdies. There is no way the scoring will be as free flowing as it was in Boston last week, and the long hitters will certainly have the advantage.
The course was designed by former Brithish Open Champion Willie Park Jr. and has hosted a number of notable events over its history, most recently the 2003 U.S. Open, won by Jim Furyk and the 2015 U.S. Amateur, won by none other than Bryson DeChambeau, the longest hitter in the game today.
For the third time in the last month, we have a new No.1 player in the world. After one of the more dominant performances in PGA history, Dustin Johnson smoked the field at the Northern Trust to finish a ridiculous 30 under par and win by 10 shots. Johnson’s highlight second round of 60 was backed up by rounds of 67, 64 and 63.
Has had a strange last few months since returning to the PGA Tour season. Missed the cut at the Charles Schwab, his first tournament back before finishing T17 and 1st in his next two starts at the RBC and Travelers, shooting eight rounds in the 60s across the two tourneys. Battled injuries after that with a missed cut and a withdrawal from the Memorial and 3M Open. Since then, has been the best player in the world shooting 12 straight rounds in the 60s at the WGC, PGA Championship and the Northern Trust, where he finished T12, T2 and 1st respectively.
It might be at a different course, but Justin Thomas is the defending BMW Champion and will be desperate to put in a good performance here to climb back into first place in the FedEx Cup standings ahead of the Tour Championship next week. Olympia Fields should set up perfectly for JT’s supreme ball striking both off the tee and on approach this week.
Another bomber off the tee in the third slot in Spaniard Jon Rahm. Rahm was No.1 in the world for a brief period after he won the Memorial Tournament and currently sits in 9th place in the FedEx Cup standings. Is one of the longest hitters on tour and will be looking to use that to his advantage this week on the monster that is Olympia Fields. Finished 8th in the 2015 U.S. Amateur at the same course.
The only man in the field to have won a tournament at Olympia Fields in the past sits at No.4 and is also the longest driver on tour by a fair stretch. Apart from Cameron Champ, Bryson is over 10 yards longer on average than any other player in this field, which will certainly come into play this week. Missed the cut at the Northern Trust but this course sets up much better for the Hulk.
Power and precision is key at Olympia Fields and Tony Finau has those two things in spades. Also missed the cut at the Northern Trust but boasted three top 10 finishes in his last four tournaments before last week and was starting to find some real form. Sits right on the Tour Championship bubble in 29th place so desperately needs a top finish to remain inside the cut line here.
Really like the look of Aussie Adam Scott this week. We know its way out of left field and Scott isn’t the longest driver on tour, however, he is one of the straightest off the tee and his long irons are arguably the best in the game. Scott finished 58th in the Northern Trust last week and is in desperate need of a high finish this week as he sits in 38th place on the FedEx Cup standings, just outside the critical top 30. Back the Aussie to do well this week.
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