BMW Championship picks: Who makes a final move before Tour Championship?
The penultimate event of the season is upon us this week in Chicago
There are just eight rounds of golf left to be played this season, and only 30 golfers will play them all. The final 70 left in the FedEx Cup will tee it up this week at Conway Farms before next week's 30-man field at East Lake for the Tour Championship and $10 million. But before we get to the riches, first we have to see who's actually going to make it there.
Let's take a look at this week's contest.
What: BMW Championship | Where: Lake Forest, Illinois | When: Sept. 14-17
Participants and odds
- Jordan Spieth: 13-2
- Dustin Johnson: 15-2
- Justin Thomas: 10-1
- Rickie Fowler: 12-1
- Hideki Matsuyama: 14-1
- Jon Rahm: 14-1
- Jason Day: 18-1
- Paul Casey: 20-1
- Rory McIlroy: 20-1
Field strength: A
Every field is an "A" this time of year, but I particularly like this one. Next week's Tour Championship is a bit too small for viewing, but the 70-player or 100-player fields like we've seen at the last two tournaments are perfect.
Three stories to watch
1. Another 59 watch? The BMW Championship moves around frequently, but in 2013 when it was at this course at Conway Farms, Jim Furyk shot a 59 in the second round. That number or better has only been shot nine times in PGA Tour history but never at the same course twice. This week will at least provide an opportunity.
2. Back from the dead: There are a couple of big names outside the East Lake cutline right now, including Zach Johnson (54), Rory McIlroy (51), Ian Poulter (47), Phil Mickelson (36) and Sergio Garcia (34). All of those guys (but especially Johnson and McIlroy) need monster weeks at Conway Farms to make it to the Tour Championship next week. They'll be interesting follows at the BMW, even if they're not in contention.
3. Big dogs hunt: We have seen four golfers more or less dominate the first two events of the playoffs. Of the group of Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Dustin Johnson and Jon Rahm, three of those guys have finished in the top five of the first two events, and both winners have been from that group. Does that trend continue in Chicago, or do we get an outside winner?
- 2016: Dustin Johnson
- 2015: Jason Day
- 2014: Billy Horschel
- 2013: Zach Johnson
- 2012: Rory McIlroy
Only studs this time of year. Let's look at the picks this week.
Winner: Dustin Johnson finished in the top 10 at Conway Farms in 2015 when Jason Day won, and he's arguably been the best player in the world not named Justin Thomas this year. I hate picking favorites, but the top guys have been so overwhelming, I'm not sure what else to do at this point. Odds: 15-2
Top 10: Paul Casey is an easy choice here. Like D.J. Piehowski mentioned recently on the No Laying Up podcast, it's impossible that Casey hasn't won so far this season. He has eight (!) top 10s so far this season and has missed just one cut. He has also finished in the top five of both playoff events thus far. Odds: 20-1
Sleeper: Patrick Cantlay is not really a sleeper, but nobody is this time of year. He has two top 15s on the year and is playing in just his 13th event on the season with a real chance to get to East Lake. He has all the talent in the world, and Jordan Spieth recently said he was going to eventually be a top 10 player. I don't know many people who disagree with that. Odds: 55-1
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