BMW Championship Preview: Key Stats, Picks To Win, Contend And Fade

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The start to the FedEx Cup Playoffs certainly got off to a wild start thinks to Dustin Johnson turning into some sort of monster winning last week’s Northern Trust by a mere 11 shots at 30-under. Now we turn our attention to Olympia Fields’ North Course just outside of Chicago for the BMW Championship with the Top 70 in the FedEx Cup standings teeing it up this week.

It’s been 17 years since the Tour hosted an event at Olympia Fields. We last saw this track for the 2003 U.S. Open, which was won by Jim Furyk at 8-under. It also played host to the 2015 U.S. Amateur won by Bryson DeChambeau.

Johnson is the favorite here after the magic show he pulled off last week. Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm, Justin Thomas, Collin Morikawa, and every other big-name player is in the field at what should be an interesting BMW Championship.

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BMW Championship Key Stats

The North Course at Olympia Fields Country Club will play long this week. The Par 70 track will stretch to 7,366 yards featuring one Par 3 over 250 yards and two Par 5’s playing longer than 600 yards.

Strokes gained: off the tee is always at a premium but at this week’s lengthy course we’re circling at as the top key stat heading into the week. Players that not only hit it long but also find the short stuff off the tee fit the mold here. Another stat to keep an eye on is proximity to hole from 175-200 yards, again, due to the overall length of the Par 4’s and Par 5’s on the course.

Last week’s picks for The Northern Trust: Pick To Win, Justin Thomas (T-49); Pick To Contend, Jon Rahm (T-6); Pick To Fade, Adam Scott (T-58).

Pick To Win

Jon Rahm

Rahm has somewhat sneakily flown under the radar the past two weeks. Following a T-13 finish at the PGA Championship, he finished T-6 last week in Boston where he led the field in strokes gained: off the tee.

While he ended up losing strokes when it came to his approach game last week if he can just figure out the irons he should find success again this week. His ranking of 49th on Tour in approach shots from 175-200 yards should help the cause as well.

Odds: 10-1

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Pick To Contend (Top 10 Finish)

Dustin Johnson

I mean, did you see what this man did to TPC Boston last week? Yes, it’ll be a more difficult test this week, but this is a course that is going to reward great driving and nobody is hitting the driver (or irons for that matter) better than DJ is at the moment.

He has the most Top 5 finishes (11) and most Top 10 finishes (19) in FedEx Cup Playoffs history. I expect him to add to those numbers and maybe even go back-to-back for what would be his third win since the season resumed.

Odds: 8-1

Pick To Fade

Rory McIlroy

It pains me to pick Rory as my fade pick this week, but something just isn’t right at the moment. At The Northern Trust, he admitted that he’s struggling to find inspiration on the course without fans on the grounds and with just one Top 15 finish since the season resumed it’s all starting to make sense. It’s unfortunately tough to see McIlroy coming out of this funk anytime soon.

Odds: 16-1

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