Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: US PGA Championship: FedEx Cup Playoffs

US PGA Championship: FedEx Cup Playoffs

Dustin Johnson’s veritable blitzkrieg of TPC Boston was accomplished in typically laconic style. It propelled him back to the summit of the World Rankings, once again showcasing his capacity to shrug off recent Major heartbreak (a word I’m not sure exists within the Johnson lexicon). 

Image Copyright - Steve Haag Sports

Two women looking excitedly at cellphone

FedEx Cup Playoffs
BMW Championship
The North Course, Olympia Fields Country Club, Olympia Fields, Illinois
27th-30th August

The BMW Championship was introduced on the PGA Tour in 2007, where it replaced the Western Open and became the 3rd event in the newly instilled FedEx Cup Playoffs. The format of the FedEx Cup changed last year- where it was wisely condensed into three events. Now only the top 70 in the FedEx Cup standings remain, jostling this week for a place in the 30-man finale at East Lake. There will be no 36-hole cut this week, meaning all 70 players will be there for the weekend.

The North Course at Olympia Fields hasn’t been seen on the tour since Jim Furyk cantered to victory at his sole Major success at the 2003 US Open. It has since hosted both the 2015 US Amateur and 2017 Women’s PGA Championship. This will be the longest par 70 used in a non-Major since the WGC Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone Country Club. So, you can expect a typical contest of brutality this week, with two massive par 5’s indicative of what the players will need to contend with.  Insiders say that the bluegrass rough is particularly brutal at present, though the organizers may choose to alleviate that to some extent. The smaller than average Bentgrass/Poa Annua greens are heavily contoured and will run at around 12.5 on the stimp. Giving what is being said about the rough, look for those who hit it far and relatively straight (Dustin Johnson anyone?).

Dustin Johnson is rarely phased by expectation and is the rightful favourite this week. That being said, Jon Rahm did show flashes of brilliance during last week’s final round at TPC Boston. Bryson DeChambeau should be primed for another title tilt while Rory McIlroy has openly declared a lack of enthusiasm to post-lockdown playing protocols. Tiger Woods shot a closing 66 at TPC Boston, a round which seemed to suggest a return to something resembling his best form. This should be yet another enthralling week, with just about every stroke having ramifications in the projected rankings.  There’s something vaguely grotesque about the swings in those projections- such a typically American sense of theatre. 

Past Winners 
2019: Justin Thomas (-25)
2018: Keegan Bradley (-20) *playoff 
2017: Marc Leishmann (-23)
2016: Dustin Johnson (-23)
2015: Jason Day (-22)

Betting Favourites (To Win)
Dustin Johnson (8/1)
Jon Rahm (10/1)
Bryson DeChambeau (14/1)
Justin Thomas (14/1)
Rory McIlroy (18/1)

Value Bets

Tony Finau
To Win (33/1), To Place (7/1)

Trends do seem to suggest that its not the best option to back someone coming off a missed-cut during these Playoff events. The unlucky loser of the playoff at the Waste Management Open, Finau had a disastrous time on the greens last week: he lost 3.8 strokes on the greens over his two rounds.  This is a player who only recently finished in a tie for 4th at the years first Major. He gained a whopping 10.4 strokes from tee to green at TPC Harding Park. The North Course at Olympia Fields should resemble that stern test at TPC Harding Park. Finau hits it a mile and can be one of the straighter guys with bombastic length.

Gary Woodland
To Win (70/1), To Place (15/1)

Last year’s Pebble Beach conqueror is one of those bubble boys who needs to vastly improve his performance this week in order to sneak into East Lake: he currently sits 39th in the FedEx Cup rankings. While he is yet to taste victory this year, six top 10 finishes attest to his undoubted quality.  He currently sits 14th on tour in SG: Approach and 29th in Birdie or Better Percentage. He just has to get his putter to behave this week: last week he lost 1.28 strokes per round putting.

The Man to Beat

Daniel Berger
To Win (22/1), To Place (48/10)

The extremely consistent Berger has two top 10’s in this event in the past, including solo 2nd at the 2015 edition at Conway Farms. His current form is extremely impressive, making him an under-the-radar contender this week. He followed a T2 at the WGC FedEx St Jude with a T13 at the US PGA Championship. He then had a solo 3rd at the Northern Trust last week.  He is currently 3rd on the tour for scoring average. He is driving the ball splendidly and I see no reason why to swerve him this week.  

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