PGA Tour: BMW Championship (FedEx Cup Playoffs) Preview

Golfer lines up iron shot

Patrick Reed’s clutch victory at Liberty National proved a worthy appetizer in this newly designed three-course meal that is the FedEx Cup Playoffs.

2019 US PGA Tour | FedEx Cup Playoffs | BMW Championship
Medinah Country Club, Course 3, Illinois 
Thursday 15 August - Sunday 18 August 2019

Jon Rahm will feel slightly frustrated that he once again caved in a commanding position. The roster has now been split to 70 as we turn our collective attention towards Medinah Country Club. Clearly, the events of the 2012 Ryder Cup will dominate the pre-tournament media think-tank. This was the ‘Miracle of Medinah;, where the European side- trailing 10-6 going into the singles- rallied manfully to retain the Ryder Cup trophy. The European contingent present may look to that as a galvanizing factor this week.

Rory McIlroy was a totemic figure of that Ryder Cup side and one look at this course tells you why. At 7,613 yards, it’s a veritable monster. When Tiger Woods won the 2006 PGA Championship it was the longest course in Major Championship history. Woods won the PGA Championship twice at Medinah, during an era where his power separated him from the field. There’s little course form to go on since the Ryder Cup was the last time this behemoth was utilized in official action. But clearly, the length will be key, while a barrage of trees will penalise Ballesteros-like inaccuracy.

Clearly, the return of Woods is going to give the Play-offs an added edge this week. He currently sits in 38th position in the FedEx Cup standings, meaning he will need a performance this week to guarantee a title defence at East Lake. Rory McIlroy and Brooks Koepka are locked in their seemingly eternal dance for favourite status this week. Dustin Johnson will be hoping to find more consistency in his game while Jon Rahm needs to find some Sunday certainty. The Spaniard could have had a miraculous year if he managed to consistently threaten on Sundays. The race for the top 30 should be exhilarating as the FedEx Cup hurtles towards its dramatic conclusion.

Past Winners
2018: Keegan Bradley (-20)*playoff
2017: Marc Leishmann (-23)
2016: Dustin Johnson (-23)
2015: Jason Day (-22)
2014: Billy Horschel (-14)

Outright Betting (To Win)
Rory McIlroy (15/2)
Brooks Koepka (8/1)
Jon Rahm (10/1)
Dustin Johnson (14/1)
Justin Thomas (14/1)


Value Bets

Tony Finau
To Win (35/1), To Place (15/2)

You have to believe that Tony Finau should absolutely relish this challenge. Finau's enormous ball-striking ability gives him an edge going into most events. But an erratic short-game means that he still- unbelievably- only sits on one PGA Tour victory. Finau loves the big stage, with two top 5 finishes in Majors this season. That included a solo 3rd at the recent Open Championship. He also has a runner-up this season at the Fort Worth Invitational. But there have also been a host of missed cuts for the American to contend with. He was pedestrian in Jersey, settling for a tie for 30th in the end.  But this course should suit Finau down to the bone.

Ian Poulter
To Win (55/1), To Place (12/1)

I know it’s unwise to get nostalgic in sport.  But if any player was immortalized by events at Medinah seven years ago, it was Ian Poulter. The flamboyant Englishman was integral to the event and essentially cast himself as the eternal infant terrible for American supporters. Poulter has actually experienced a resurgence in recent years, devoting himself wholly to his golfing career. He enters this event off the back of a pair of top 10’s in the WGC and Northern Trust, both of which featured stellar fields. Length may be a slight issue, but every other facet of his game has been in sublime form. 55/1 looks a decent price for the ‘Medinah Magician’- that’s my one. He currently sits 43rd in the FedEx Cup standings and needs a strong week.

The Man to Beat

Dustin Johnson
To Win (14/1), To Place (3/1)

Yes, DJ hasn’t exactly been in the greatest form of Late. The number of short putts he missed at Liberty National was unfathomable. But the huge-hitting Texan still led the Northern Trust at the halfway point. Johnson is a two-time winner of this event and his general combination of length and accuracy should perfectly suit the demands of Medinah. Furthermore, he was the only American player to go undefeated when the Ryder Cup was played at Medinah. Rory and Brooks look a little short to me, while Rahm needs to seal the deal more regularly to justify 10/1.

Written by Damien Kayat for Hollywoodbets.

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