Just eight rounds remain in the 2022-23 PGA Tour season with the BMW Championship again serving as the penultimate event. Traveling throughout the Midwest, the BMW Championship returns to the North Course at Olympia Fields for the first time since 2020 when a dramatic ending between two of the world's best unfolded.
Fast forward three years later, and it is Jon Rahm, the winner of that 2020 BMW Championship, who finds himself atop the FedEx Cup standings. Having accomplished nearly everything throughout his young career, the Spaniard hopes to remain in pole position in the season-long race heading into the Tour Championship as an advantage in the staggered start could prove to be the ultimate difference maker for his first FedEx Cup crown.
The Masters champion will attempt to fend off world No. 1 Scottie Scheffler and world No. 2 Rory McIlroy over the last two tournaments. While Scheffler remains atop the golf world, according to the Official World Golf Rankings, it is McIlroy who's playing the best golf since the PGA Championship. Collecting eight straight top-10 finishes including a win at the Scottish Open and a pair of podium results including last week at the St. Jude Championship, McIlroy appears keen on tracking down his second straight FedEx Cup and fourth overall.
Lucas Glover has made headway thanks to back-to-back victories, and arrives outside Chicago fourth in the standings. The 43-year-old will attempt to become the fourth player in the last 20 years to win three straight tournaments while FedEx Cup No. 5 Patrick Cantlay will try to be the first player since Steve Stricker in 2011 to win a single tournament three years in a row.
The two-time defending champion fell in a playoff in Memphis but could be on the cusp of a fast finish to his 2023 campaign. Meanwhile, big names such as Cameron Young, Hideki Matsuyama, Matt Fitzpatrick and Sam Burns find themselves on the top-30 bubble and in need of a strong effort if their seasons are to continue at East Lake.
2023 BMW Championship schedule
Dates: Aug. 17-20 | Location: Olympia Fields Country Club (North Course) — Olympia Fields, Illinois
Par: 70 | Yardage: 7,366 | Purse: $20 million
Rick Gehman is joined by Kyle Porter, Mark Immelman and Greg DuCharme to break down the BMW Championship at Olympia Fields where the top 50 in the FedEx Cup Standings will fight for 30 spots at East Lake. It's storylines, picks and the One & Done. Follow & listen to The First Cut on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.
2023 BMW Championship field, odds
- Rory McIlroy (13/2): The four-time major champion has been brilliant since the PGA Championship, ranking first in total strokes gained, first in strokes gained off the tee, second in strokes gained tee to green and second in strokes gained approach among those in the field. McIlroy continues to gain across the board — including the putter — and it is only a matter of time before some additional win variance falls his way. He may have come up one stroke shy of the playoff at TPC Southwind after a bogey-free final-round 65, but it represented a strong opener to his march towards FedEx Cup No. 4.
- Scottie Scheffler (7-1)
- Jon Rahm (9-1): The four-time winner this year has gone without a trophy since his victory at the Masters in April. Still commanding the FedEx Cup lead thanks to his blistering start and additional quality outings mixed in, Rahm returns to the site of his dramatic victory in 2020. He will need to be better if he is to leave Olympia Fields with the lead; it's been an inconsistent summer for the two-time major champ. Rahm ranks outside the top 15 in strokes gained off the tee, strokes gained around the green and strokes gained putting over the last three months and experienced the worst round of his career with the big stick in the first round in Memphis.
- Patrick Cantlay (10-1): The 2021 FedEx Cup champion nearly accomplished a first at TPC Southwind by becoming the first to win each playoff event. Ultimately coming up short with an untimely tee shot on the first playoff hole, Cantlay charges into his defense effort for the second straight year. A winner of the BMW Championship at Caves Valley and Wilmington Country Club, he now tries his hand at Olympia Fields where he finished T12 in 2020. The wins have yet to come for the world No. 4, but he is currently enjoying the best statistical season of his career in terms of strokes gained. While all eyes are on the top three players in the standings, Cantlay could easily claim his second FedEx Cup in the last three years if he continues to play this way.
- Xander Schauffele (16-1)
- Viktor Hovland (16-1)
- Tommy Fleetwood (22-1): The Englishman continues to put himself in position on Sunday, but the confidence has to be waning. Experiencing yet another close call at the St. Jude Championship, Fleetwood collected his 22nd top five on the PGA Tour — the most of any player without a win. Conventional wisdom suggests if he keeps doing what he is doing, eventually the ball will bounce his way as he ranks fourth in total strokes gained over the last three months.
- Max Homa (25-1)
- Tyrrell Hatton (25-1)
- Collin Morikawa (28-1): The two-time major champion is now more than two years removed from his last victory on the PGA Tour. Despite this drought, Morikawa has enjoyed a decent summer and has rattled off three top-15 finishes in his last four starts in the United States. The iron play has returned to baseline levels, and his off-the-tee presence remains underrated. Morikawa is one of three players to rank inside the top 15 in each tee-to-green metric over the last three months.
- Rickie Fowler (28-1)
2023 BMW Championship expert picks
|Winner (7-1): The world No. 1 is not the betting favorite in a tournament for the first time in a long time after back-to-back finishes outside the top 20. His tee-to-green numbers remain the best in the game, but he will need the putter to get going if he is to claim his first win since the Players Championship. His new putter was ineffective at TPC Southwind, but Scheffler should thrive at a more difficult Olympia Fields. The top three finishers in 2020 ranked first, second and third in greens in regulation on the week. That should be music to the ears of the Texan.
|Contender (35-1): The reigning PGA Tour Rookie of the Year endured a sophomore slump compared to last year's campaign, but he still finds himself with a chance to qualify for the Tour Championship. Young turned it on at the end of his regular season with top 10s at the John Deere Classic and The Open, and he's a great statistical fit for Olympia Fields. He remains one of the best drivers in the game and has plenty to play for between the Tour Championship and Ryder Cup.
|Sleeper (50-1): Difficult golf courses seem to suit the Canadian as he arrives at Olympia Fields off a sneaky T6 at the St. Jude Championship. Conners has always been known as one of the best ball strikers, but he has found his putter in recent starts, gaining on the greens in three straight outings. A contender at big-time tournaments like the Wells Fargo Championship and PGA Championship, Conners could once again be factor late into Sunday.
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