2019 BMW Championship picks, predictions, odds: Ranking the field at Medinah Country Club
The playoffs continue at a classic venue this week outside of Chicago
With one FedEx Cup Playoff event down, we only have eight rounds left in the season and 70 players left playing for the biggest money. Last week's winner, Patrick Reed, rocketed up to No. 2 in the FedEx Cup standings and sits just behind Brooks Koepka in the No. 1 slot right now. He'll try and improve on that position this week at the BMW Championship as golfers fight for seeding at the Tour Championship next week and a head start on the $15 million first prize.
Let's take a look at this week's contest.
What: BMW Championship | When: Aug. 15-18
Where: Medinah Country Club -- Medinah, Illinois
Ranking the field (odds)
- Brooks Koepka (8-1): I am praying he gets paired with Bryson DeChambeau at some point this week.
- Jon Rahm (10-1): Huge ballpark, he's been as hot as anybody over the last two months.
- Rory McIlroy (8-1): Remember when he showed late here at the 2012 Ryder Cup and eviscerated Keegan Bradley?
- Webb Simpson (25-1): Only a cracked driver could slow him down last week at Liberty National Golf Club.
- Justin Rose (16-1): I know it took the entire European team to win that 2012 Ryder Cup, but boy it felt like Rose did it by himself.
- Dustin Johnson (14-1): I don't understand the random disappearances like we saw last week at Liberty National after he led at the halfway point.
- Justin Thomas (14-1): Quietly (!) with four straight top-12 finishes.
- Patrick Cantlay (20-1): Somehow remains underrated.
- Tony Finau (30-1): Only because this course is so monstrous.
- Adam Scott (30-1): This time last year he was outside the top 50. Now he's a factor in every event.
Field strength -- A+: The only big names that miss out this week are Sergio Garcia, Henrik Stenson and Matthew Wolff (if you consider him a big name). Tiger Woods is there, although for how long nobody is certain.
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Three things to know
1. Jordan Spieth needs to do work: Despite having the best putting season of his career, Spieth finds himself way outside the top 30 and on the verge of missing the Tour Championship for the second straight season. He'll likely need a solo ninth-place finish or better, which means he'll need to string together at least three strong rounds of solid ball-striking. I'm not sure how confident I am about that happening.
2. The hunt for -10: As a reminder, the leader of the FedEx Cup after this week starts next week's event at 10 under. Whoever is in second starts at 8 under. And so on down the line. If Koepka remains first and gets at least two strokes on a field he's better than, that could be a wrap. Can you imagine him leading Andrew Putnam by 17 after shooting a 65 in the first round at East Lake? That's a real scenario that could happen!
3. Medinah rocks? This course has given us some absolute gems, and it hasn't hosted since the 2012 Ryder Cup, which as you'll no doubt recall, was an all-timer. If we get one percent of that week this week, then we're in for a show.
Tiger Woods is teeing it up this week at the BMW Championship for reasons unknown after pulling out of last week's Northern Trust with an oblique injury. Even the way he talks suggests he's a little bit day to day, which is not an injury status that should be spent on non-majors for him at this point. Regardless, he'll likely need to finish in the top 10 to get to the Tour Championship and have a chance at defending his crown.
- 2018: Keegan Bradley
- 2017: Marc Leishman
- 2016: Dustin Johnson
- 2015: Jason Day
- 2014: Billy Horschel
BMW Championship picks
Winner: Jon Rahm (10-1) -- I've been riding him for a few weeks now. His summer has been jaw-dropping. Only one finish worse than seventh in his last six tournaments, and that was a T11 at the Open Championship.
Top 10: Rory McIlroy (8-1) -- The biggest lock. He's been top 10 in 11 of his last 12 non-majors on the PGA Tour.
Sleeper: Rafa Cabrera-Bello (80-1) -- Four top 12s in his last five starts worldwide. It would be incredibly on brand for a European to win this tournament at this course after what they did in 2012.
So who wins the BMW Championship, and which long shots stun the golfing world? Visit SportsLine now to see the full BMW Championship projected leaderboard from the model that's nailed six golf majors heading into the weekend.
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