Pat Mayo and Geoff Fienberg preview the course and run through the odds while making their 2020 BMW Championship Picks. The guys give their fantasy golf picks, provide their one and done strategy for the event from Olympia Fields.
2020 BMW Championship: Field
Field: 69 Players | No Cut
First Tee: Thursday, Aug. 27, at 1230 p.m. ET
Defending Champion: Justin Thomas
NOTE: Webb Simpson has withdrawn
- The top 70 players remaining in the FedEx Cup standings are in the field at the 2020 BMW Championship. There is no cut.
- The top 30 players in the FedEx Cup standings will advance to the TOUR Championship next week at East Lake.
- Olympia Fields Country Club is a USGA rotation course, having hosted two U.S. Opens (1928, 2003) and a U.S. Senior Open (1997) but the last time it was seen by some players in this field in competitive play was the 2015 U.S. Amateur. It’s since been host to the Women’s PGA Championship in 2017.
- Players in the 2020 BMW Championship field who participated in the 2015 U.S. Amateur in made it into the Match Play stage: Bryson DeChambeau (1st), Jon Rahm (5th), Maverick McNealy (T9), and Robby Shelton (T9)
- Tiger Woods (T20), Charles Howell III (T53), Paul Casey (MC) and Adam Scott (MC) are the only players in the field this week who competed in the 2003 U.S. Open. Chez Reavie and Luke List competed at amateurs that year but both failed to advance in this year’s playoffs. So, I suppose that isn’t overly relevant to the 2020 BMW Championship.
- The NCAA Illini Invitational runs each year as well. Matthew Wolff and Cameron Champ have won two of the past four years, while Collin Morikawa, Viktor Hovland, Jon Rahm and Scottie Scheffler have all posted Top 25 finishes over that time too.
Curious about when major leagues and events will return? Check out our DraftKings Sports Calendar for the latest updates.
2020 BMW Championship: Key Stats
Strokes Gained: Ball Striking
Driving Distance Gained
Par 4s Gained: 450-500 Yards
Proximity 175-200 Yards
Mayo’s Key Stats powered by FantasyNational.com
2020 BMW Championship: Course
Olympia Fields CC (North)
Greens: Poa (Bluegrass)
2020 BMW Championship: Past Winners
2019: Justin Thomas -25
2018: Keegan Bradley -20
2017: Marc Leishman -23
2016: Dustin Johnson -23
2015: Jason Day -22
2014: Billy Horschel -14
2020 BMW Championship: Strategy
- The always confusing “Bluegrass” is listed as the grass type of the putting surface. Bluegrass is a form of Poa Annua.
- A daunting 7,366 yards as a Par 70, Olympia Fields CC’s length will mimic the recent PGA Championship at Harding Park and the 2019 PGA Championship at Bethpage Black.
- We’ve seen former Major venues get transformed into FedEx Cup playoff events in the past. Medinah CC hosted the 2019 BMW Championship after last welcoming the PGA Championship in 2006. Tiger Woods won that year at -18, with six players getting to double digits under par. At the 2019 BMW, Justin Thomas won at -25 and over a third of the field got to double digits under par. Under PGA Championship conditions in 2019, Bethpage played as a Par 70 and featured only two players better than -2 (Brooks Koepka -8, Dustin Johnson -6) and a total of six players under par for the week. In 2016, in the opening event of the FedEx Cup playoffs, Bethpage played as a Par 71 and ended with 30 players under par despite having a smaller field. So, looking at those past events can provide some guidance but don’t think the FedEx Cup set up is going to be nearly as difficult.
- Although they’ve been hosted at different courses, the winner of the BMW Championship has been -20 or better in each of the past five years.
- There are seven par 4s that will play over 450 yards. The best players on holes from this range over the last two months: Tony Finau, Talor Gooch, Mark Hubbard, Bryson DeChambeau and Adam Scott.
- There are two par 3s playing 215 yards and longer. From Fantasy National, the leaders in 200-plus yard proximity since the restart: Dustin Johnson, Jason Kokrak, Harris English, Hideki Matsuyama and Jon Rahm.
- Since there is no cut this week, it’s best to treat it like a WGC event. All players will accumulate four rounds of DraftKings scoring barring a withdrawal. Having the top players on the leaderboard is clearly still a must but there will be a handful of high-end birdie makers who will outperform their final position in DraftKings scoring.
2020 BMW Championship Picks — Early Targets
Rory has to break out of his slump at some point, right? RIGHT???? I mean, he will, eventually. I could use it to be this week, though. A T65 finish in a small field at a course where he’s won twice doesn’t seem encouraging but there was some life on a deep dive. Since the restart, Rory has struggled with his irons, never gaining more than 2.6 SG: App in any one event; he’s actually had two or more in two of his past four events. This has resulted in zero top 10 finishes in seven starts. To contrast, he reeled off seven top 5 results in a row before the hiatus. However, at The Northern Trust Rory’s main issues were his driver and putter. He actually finished in the top 10 for the week on approach (+5.1). The driver isn’t something to be too concerned about. Before this week, Rory hadn’t lost strokes with his driver in consecutive rounds once in his past 100 rounds. The last time he’d dropped with the driver in back-to-back rounds was rounds 3 and 4 at the 2018 PGA Championship. Losing in more than two straight rounds (Rory dropped in all four at the Northern Trust)? The 2017 BMW Championship at Conway Farms. The time he’d done it before that? The 2009 Heritage. This is just doesn’t happen very often. Oh, he also lost 6.5 strokes putting, the fourth-worst performance of his career going back to 2007. Maybe we’ll finally get a reasonable number on him and if the irons are actually back, the driving and putting shouldn’t be far behind. He has commented that his performance has dipped without fans because of the lack of intensity
If I’d realized he’d purchased property in the Native Area and had to check in on his rental unit every second day, I would have been a bit more gun shy last week. The Brit was maddening at TPC Boston — he was incredible Thursday and Saturday and horrendous Friday and Sunday. Still, that high-end ball-striking upside is alluring, especially with the way Hatton can pop off with his putter every few weeks. The length could be too daunting when squaring off with some of the long drive champions in this field but since the restart, Hatton does lead this field in proximity from 175-200 yards. Likely where a plurality of approaches will come from at Olympia Fields.
Other notable names appearing near the top of stat models and the win simulator at FantasyNational.com: Dustin Johnson, Jon Rahm, Collin Morikawa
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Pat Mayo is an award-winning video host and producer of long and short-form content, and the host of The Pat Mayo Experience daily talk show. (Subscribe for video or audio). Mayo (@ThePME) won the 2020 Fantasy Sports Writing Association Daily Fantasy Writer of the Year and Golf Writer of the Year awards, along with the Fantasy Sports Trade Association Best Sports Betting Analyst award, and was a finalist for four FSWA Awards in 2020 (Best Podcast, Best Video, Daily Fantasy Writer of the Year, Golf Writer of the Year). His 21 FSWA nominations lead all writers this decade and are third-most all-time. Mayo has been recognized across multiple sports (Football, Baseball & Golf), mediums (Video, Writing & Podcasting), genre (Humor), and game formats (Daily Fantasy and Traditions Season Long). Beyond sports, Mayo covers everything from entertainment to pop culture to politics. If you have a fantasy question, general inquiry or snarky comment, ship it to Mayo at ThePatMayoExperience@gmail.com and the best will be addressed on the show.
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is ThePME) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.
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