The top-70 in the FedExCup Standings will advance to this week’s BMW Championship in Chicago. Last week we saw Patrick Reed win his first PGA event since his Master’s title in 2018, and by doing so he catapulted all the way up to number two in the FedExCup standings. FedExCup points are quadrupled in the first two playoff stages, so be ready to see some major movement after this week as well. Jon Rahm (featured in last week’s best bets) was leading Reed in the Northern Trust Open on Sunday until a meltdown on the back nine. The upcoming course is a good opportunity for him to bounce back, as the course is once again very long and challenging.
The BMW Championship will be played Medinah Country Club (Course No. 3) just outside of Chicago, Illinois. It has not hosted an event since the 2012 Ryder Cup and 2006 PGA Championship — where we saw none other than Tiger Woods take home the hardware. It is a massively long golf course with some of the longest par 5s golfers will ever see on Tour. Two of the par 5s are over 600 yards in length and will be next to impossible to eagle for even the game’s longest players. The fairways are wide and golfers will once again be putting on bentgrass greens.
- Course: Medinah Country Club (course no.3)
- Par: 72
- Yardage: 7,613
- Greens: Bentgrass (Poa blend)
With only 70 of the world’s best golfers competing this week in a non-cut event, it will be crucial to look at some key stats to help us narrow down our favorite golfers. The first thing that stands out is how long this golf course is (7,613 yards!), so we will be targeting elite ball strikers who also are excellent with their long irons (proximity >175 yards). Par 5 scoring will be key, as there are four enormous ones on the course, and players must beat the field on them in order to gain strokes and put themselves in a position to win.
- Strokes Gained: Off-The-Tee (OTT)
- Long Course Specialists
- Proximity Gained: 175-200 yards, 200+
- Par 4 scoring: 450-500 yards
- Performance on bentgrass greens
Justin Thomas (+1600 on DraftKings Sportsbook)
Thomas is one nice putting week away from winning his first PGA event of the year. His ball-striking and approach game have remained consistently solid, but he cannot find any momentum with the flat-stick. Coming off a T-12 finish last week in which he finished fourth in strokes gained: approach, and eighth in strokes gained: tee-to-green, I like Thomas’ chances at a similar course. He is first in par 5 scoring, first in birdies-or-better, 12th in proximity from 175-200 yards, and 22nd in strokes gained: off-the-tee. According to FutureofFantasy.com, since 2014, Thomas is the ninth-best performer on bentgrass greens and the fourth-best performer on long courses.
Adam Scott (+2200 on DraftKings Sportsbook)
Scott finished T-3 at the PGA championship way back in 2006 when this course hosted the event. He will have an advantage on others, as the vast majority of golfers have never played here. Coming in with excellent form, Scott finished fifth last week and gained strokes in every facet of his game. Scott was especially elite on Sunday — gaining a whopping 4.66 strokes on the field tee-to-green and 2.39 strokes on approach. Third in par 5 scoring average, Scott should have little trouble on these long, challenging holes. He brought the long putter back out last week and it paid dividends, so expect him to keep rolling them in this week.
Sungjae Im (+750 on DraftKings Sportsbook)
The young South Korean had a very impressive 2019 season, finishing 26th in the FedExCup Standings. He turned a lot of heads in the golf industry with his solid all-around game, and a win appears imminent. Im has 14 top-25 finishes this year. If it wasn’t for a bad Saturday last week, he would have finished much higher than 38th. He is tied for seventh in PGA scoring and does very well on long courses. According to FutureofFantasy.com, Im is the 20th best golfer in the PGA on long courses, gaining 2.136 strokes on the field. A very elite ball-striker, Im ranks 26th in strokes gained: off-the-tee. He is 11th in bogey avoidance which will be valuable on a challenging track.
Corey Conners (+1200 on DraftKings Sportsbook)
Conners put in a solid outing at the Northern Trust last week, finishing T-21. This is impressive considering he didn’t gain any strokes off-the-tee. He is normally one of the best golfers off-the-tee, as he ranks seventh in the PGA. If this regresses positively as it should, Conners could finish even higher. Bentgrass surfaces suit him best as he got his first win on bentgrass earlier this year. He is 13th in strokes gained: approach, first in greens-in-regulation, and seventh in proximity from 175-200 yards. Look for the young Canadian to turn in another strong performance this week.