We’re off and running in the sprint to the FedEx Cup with the second leg of the playoffs.1 The BMW Championship will be held at Medinah Country Club No. 3 this year. It has been the host of its fair share of majors and even a Ryder Cup.
Medinah plays as a Par 72 and the scorecard this week has it at over 7,600 yards. With three of the four par 5s playing over 575 yards and each of the par 3s playing over 190 yards, distance will be important this week. Golfers will contend with average sized bentgrass greens that are set to run around 12 on the stimp. They’ll also have to deal with 71 bunkers and two water hazards.
Checking the Chalk
Justin Thomas ($10,000) continues knocking on the door lately. His ball-striking has really picked up over his past four starts. Over that span, he has gained nearly 5.5 strokes on approach and 7.7 from tee to green.
His 36th-place finish at the Traveler Championship may have resulted from losing nearly eight strokes on the greens. In his past three starts, he has finished no worse than 12th place. When J.T. inevitably catches a hot putter, it’ll be hard for the field to keep up due to his excellent ball-striking.
Besides a two-week hiccup, Adam Scott ($9,200) has been excellent since March. He’s made six-of-seven cuts, including four top-10 finishes, since missing the cut at the Honda Classic. He finished in fifth place last week at The Northern Trust while gaining strokes in every category. Since 2014, Scott has made 11 starts on courses longer than 7,500 yards. He has gained nearly an extra full stroke tee to green in those events compared to shorter courses.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Joaquin Niemann ($7,300) would be more expensive and more highly owned if not for one bad round at Royal Portrush. Since missing the cut at the PGA Championship, Niemann has been on with his ball-striking. Over his past nine events, he has gained an average of 4.22 strokes tee to green compared to 3.1 in his career heading into that stretch, per the RotoViz Splits App.
After three missed cuts in June, Tony Finau ($8,500) bounced back nicely through July and is setting his sights on a strong finish in the FedEx Cup playoffs. Finau gained strokes in every category except for putting last week.
Over his past three starts, he’s right at his baseline for strokes gained tee to green (3.01) but is over 2.5 strokes below his putting baseline. That leads me to believe that he’s due for some positive regression with the flatstick. If he can get to field average putting and keeps up his ball-striking, he could pay off handsomely this weekend.
So far this season, the totals for cash locks include 55 of 60 (91.7%) made cuts, 41 of 60 (68.3%) top-30 finishes, and 17 of 60 (28.3%) top-10 finishes. Here are this week’s cash locks:
- Justin Thomas ($10,000)
- Joaquin Niemann ($7,300)
Model Results and Ownership Projections - BMW Championship
|Name||DK Salary||Ownership Projections||Power Ranking|
|Rafa Cabrera Bello||7500||4.8||-0.28|
|Byeong Hun An||7400||15.8||-1.03|
|Harold Varner III||7200||6.3||-0.06|
|Charles Howell III||7100||2.9||-1.05|
|Si Woo Kim||6500||3.1||-0.24|
Image Credit: David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire. Pictured: Justin Thomas.
- It’s worth noting, too, that this is a smaller field with only 70 golfers and there will be no cut this week. (back)