The 2022 BMW Championship has big shoes to fill following a dramatic ending to the St. Jude Championship. With Will Zalatoris breaking through for his maiden victory at TPC Southwind, there is a new name atop the FedEx Cup standings for the first time in 20 weeks.
Zalatoris holds a slim edge over world No. 1 Scottie Scheffler as the two jostle for positioning ahead of the Tour Championship at East Lake. A player who will not be in the field is FedEx Cup No. 3 Cameron Smith. The reigning Open champion withdrew from the BMW Championship on Monday due to hip discomfort but is expected to return for the postseason finale.
While the top of the leaderboard brings plenty of intrigue, simply making it to the Tour Championship is an accomplishment in its own right. With the field getting trimmed from the top 70 players to the top 30 after this week, there is plenty on the line for these players; big paydays and exemptions into the Masters, the U.S. Open and The Open Championship await.
Wilmington Country Club plays host to the BMW Championship this year with the Robert Trent Jones Sr. design set to make its PGA Tour debut. Drawing similarities to Caves Valley on the scorecard, if the action resembles that of last year when Patrick Cantlay took down Bryson DeChambeau in an epic six-hole playoff, golf fans will be in for a treat for the second consecutive week.
Event: BMW Championship | Dates: Aug. 18-21
Location: Wilmington Country Club -- Wilmington, Delaware
Par: 71 | Yardage: 7,534 | Purse: $15,000,000
2022 BMW Championship field, odds
- Rory McIlroy (10-1): One of the bigger surprises from the St. Jude Championship was McIlroy's absence from the weekend. Missing his first cut since the Texas Open the week before the Masters, the Northern Irishman should be in store for a bounce-back performance. His iron play was actually pretty sound at TPC Southwind as he gained nearly two strokes on approach, but off-the-tee woes were his eventual undoing. There is only one annual stop on the PGA Tour which boasts a similar scorecard to Wilmington CC -- Quail Hollow Club, where McIlroy has won three times before.
- Jon Rahm (12-1): The 2020 BMW Championship winner is slowly but surely rounding into form. Finishing in a tie for fifth at the St. Jude Championship, Rahm put together his best iron performance since the Arnold Palmer Invitational in March. Combine this uptick in approach play with his off-the-tee presence and improvements in the short-game department, and the Spaniard should be in the mix on Sunday.
- Will Zalatoris (14-1)
- Patrick Cantlay (14-1): The defending champion is very close to figuring it all out. Without a solo victory to his name this season -- he won the Zurich Classic alongside Xander Schauffele -- the reigning PGA Tour Player of the Year has notched three runner-up finishes and six additional top-10 finishes. He took a step back at the St. Jude Championship with a T57 finish, but on a course with massive putting surfaces, if able to wield his flat stick in a manner remotely similar to last year at Caves Valley, he will change his fortunes and head into the Tour Championship with a realistic opportunity to claim a second straight FedEx Cup title.
- Scottie Scheffler (14-1): For the first time in a long time, Scheffler's name does not occupy to the top spot in the FedEx Cup standings. Only 124 points behind Zalatoris, the Masters champion will have his chance to reclaim the No. 1 position ahead of the Tour Championship. In order to do so, Scheffler will need to be much better on the greens. Showing frustration at TPC Southwind, the Texan has now lost strokes with the putter in seven of his last nine tournaments, including four straight. The good news for Scheffler is that during this span, the two occasions he was better than the field with the flat stick was his playoff loss at the Charles Schwab Challenge and his runner-up performance at the U.S. Open.
- Justin Thomas (14-1)
- Tony Finau (14-1): and the rare company he would have joined if he pulled it off at TPC Southwind. Ultimately finishing T5, there is not much to dislike when it comes to the four-time PGA Tour winner and his chances this week. Stepping foot onto a long golf course where birdies should be abundant, it is hard to look past his name on the odds board.
- Matt Fitzpatrick (16-1)
- Xander Schauffele (18-1): The Olympic gold medalist has three victories to his credit this season, but let's not forget what Schauffele's bread and butter used to be: no-cut events. With wins at The Olympic Games, Tournament of Champions, WGC-HSBC Champions and the Tour Championship, Schauffele has acquitted himself quite nicely when the field is whittled down. He did not get off to the best of starts with a T57 at the St. Jude Championship, but he still remains sixth in the FedEx Cup standings. With his affinity for East Lake, Schauffele will just need to be within arm's reach heading into the Tour Championship.
- Collin Morikawa (20-1)
2022 BMW Championship picks
|Winner (20-1): While Schauffele thrives in no-cut events, Morikawa does his best work on debuting golf courses. The two-time major champion's last three victories have come at TPC Harding Pack, The Concession Golf Club and Royal St. George's, all of which are not annual stops on the PGA Tour. With Wilmington Country Club featuring greens measuring 8,100 sq. ft., Morikawa's iron play will be able to shine through. On the season, he ranks inside the top 10 in proximity from 100-150 yards and 200+ yards, and based on the scorecard, there should be a heavy dose of wedge opportunities and long irons for players this week.|
|Contender (22-1): Young's price has dropped significantly since open, and for good reason. The presumed PGA Tour Rookie of the Year may not have turned heads in his FedEx Cup Playoffs debut last week, but he was still impressive from a statistical standpoint. Finishing second in strokes gained tee to green, behind only Zalatoris, a return to the Northeast may be what the New York native needs to finally cross the finish line. Young has captured seven podium finishes on the season, including two in his last three starts. With only 67 players to contend with at the BMW Championship, he should once again find his name on the first page of the leaderboard.|
|Sleeper (28-1): It is difficult to traverse too far down the odds board to find a potential winner, and Niemann is where I will stop. The young Chilean ranked third in strokes gained approach at TPC Southwind en route to a T13 effort, and that skillset should come in handy at Wilmington Country Club. Boasting some of the largest putting surfaces on the PGA Tour, pins will be placed in sectioned-off portions of greens, thus upping the importance of competent iron play. Niemann has navigated larger greens quite effectively throughout his career, and should be able to set up a run at his second victory of the season.|
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