The second tournament of the FedExCup touches down at Olympia Fields Country Club (North) in Olympia Fields, Illinois. The top 70 in the FedExCup standings will all jockey to get inside the top 30 by the end of the week for the third and final stage of the playoffs, the TOUR Championship at East Lake Golf Club.
The BMW Championship venue is on an annual rotation. With Olympia Fields Country Club not hosting a PGA TOUR event since the 2003 U.S. Open, course history is scarce. To find any course knowledge, we have to drop down to the amateur and collegiate level with the 2015 U.S. Amateur Championship, and the Fighting Illini Invitational, an NCAA tournament played yearly. Golfers like Robby Shelton, Maverick McNealy, Jon Rahm, Viktor Hovland, Collin Morikawa, Cameron Champ, Matthew Wolff, Scottie Scheffler and Bryson DeChambeau have the most recent experience playing in either event. Both Champ and Wolff won the NCAA Fighting Illini Invitational recently, with Morikawa finishing runner-up as well.
Since 2012, past winners at the BMW Championship include Justin Thomas, Keegan Bradley, Marc Leishman, Dustin Johnson (2), Jason Day, Billy Horschel, Zach Johnson and Rory McIlroy.
Similar to Dustin Johnson last week, Rory comes into the BMW Championship at an inflated price on DraftKings Sportsbook. That’s where most of the similarities stop. DJ gained 17.5 strokes tee-to-green at TPC Boston, while Rory just gained two. Rory was -6.5 on the greens, while DJ gained 5.5 strokes putting. Normalization should occur with Rory’s putter this week.
The promising sign for the former number 1 ranked golfer in the world was his irons last week, gaining 5.5 strokes total, and that’s what you need if you want to compete at Olympia Fields Country Club. Rory mentioned he feels like he’s going through the motions and needs to find “motivation” without fans. Rory hasn’t recorded a top 10 since the restart, so maybe there’s merit to his comments, but when I hear these comments, my first thought is he’ll be working on it just as much as the other parts of his game. Rory should be “all systems go” this week in the lead-up tournament to his title defense at East Lake Golf Club.
As outlined in the DraftKings Preview article, Scott had one bad round of putting that played him out of the tournament last week. A winner already this season (Riviera Country Club), Scott’s ability tee-to-green sets up perfectly for Olympia Fields Country Club. On par-4s between 450 and 500 yards, Scott ranks eighth over the last 24 rounds. With no cut, he’ll have ample opportunities to score on this long, par 70 course, a layout he performs exceptionally well on.
Na lost in every significant strokes-gained category in Rounds 1 and 3 last week, but the other two days, Na shot 11-under par and gained just under seven strokes tee-to-green. The winning equity and top 10 upside is there. If he switches one of those rounds last week and plays field average, he most likely finishes inside the top 20. This week Na gets back on a par 70 where he ranks 12th in SG: Total over his last 50 rounds.
Since the Memorial Tournament, few have been better than Palmer, ranking fourth in SG: Total. He’s also flashed fantastic golf throughout the season with three top 10s, a top five and a runner up at the Memorial Tournament last month. Palmer ranks 11th in SG: Approach-the-Green over the previous 12 rounds, which is better than Webb Simpson, Jason Day and Matthew Wolff. The ‘veteran’ is playing well at the right time.
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