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BlogBMW Championship Preview and Picks

BMW Championship

September 12 – 15, 2013

Conway Farms G.C.

Lake Forest, Il.

Par: 71 / Yardage:

Purse: $8 Million

with $1.44 Million to the winner

Defending Champion:
Rory McIlroy

by Sal Johnson

Founder, Chief Data Officer, GOLFstats

E-mail me at:
sal@golfstats.com

This week’s field includes:

The field includes 38 of the top 50 in the latest Official World Rankings, with all top-20 in the field.  What is really impressive of the 12 not playing, only Louis Oosthuizen, who is hurt and Martin Kaymer, who just didn’t play well are the only regular PGA Tour played not in the field.  Of nine of the ten not in the field they are members of the European Tour and then you have Hideki Matsuyama, who will be a member of the PGA Tour in 2014, but wasn’t know and didn’t get a chance to play in the FedEx Cup playoffs.

The field includes all Top 25 on this year’s PGA Tour money list:  

The field includes six past BMW champions: Rory McIlroy (2012), Justin Rose (2011), Dustin Johnson (2010), Tiger Woods (2009, ’07, ’03 & ’97), Jim Furyk (2005) and Steve Stricker (1996).

The field includes 26 players that have won on the PGA Tour this year: Dustin Johnson (Hyundai Tournament of Champions), Russell Henley (Sony Open), Brian Gay (Humana Challenge), Phil Mickelson (WM Phoenix Open, British Open), Tiger Woods (Farmers Insurance, WGC Cadillac, Arnold Palmer Invitational, Players Championship & WGC-Bridgestone), Brandt Snedeker (AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, RBC Canadian Open), John Merrick (Northern Trust Open), Matt Kuchar (WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship, the Memorial Tournament), Michael Thompson (Honda Classic), Kevin Streelman (Tampa Bay), D.A. Points (Shell Houston), Adam Scott (Masters & Barclays), Graeme McDowell (RBC Heritage), Billy Horschel (Zurich Classic), Sang-Moon Bae (HP Byron Nelson Championship),  Boo Weekley (Crowne Plaza Colonial), Harris English (FedEx St. Jude), Justin Rose (U.S. Open). Ken Duke (Travelers), Bill Haas (AT&T National), Jonas Bilxt (Greenbrier), Gary Woodland (Reno-Tahoe), Jason Dufner (PGA Championship), Patrick Reed (Wyndham) and Henrik Stenson (Deutsche Bank).

The only winners of the year not in the field is Martin Laird (Valero Texas), Derek Ernst (Wells Fargo Championship) and Woody Austin (Sanderson Farms) who finished 137 in the FedEx rankings)

A perfect way for fantasy golfers to check on the past performance of all the players in the BMW field is our performance chart listed by average finish. One last way to check who is the best is through a special formula worked out in Golfstats that gives us the best average performances at BMW  in the last five years or check out our sortable 8-year glance at the BMW.

A good cheat sheet is this list of odds from the top bookmakers in England.

Another cheat sheet is this list of odds from the top bookmaker in Las Vegas.

Time to look at our who’s hot and who isn’t:

Who’s Hot in the field for the BMW Championship

Player Deutsche Bank Barclays Classic Wyndham PGA Championship WGC-Bridgestone Reno-Tahoe RBC Canadian British Open Sanderson Farms Scottish Open John Deere French Open Greenbrier Classic
Henrik Stenson
(525.17 pts)
Win
(198)
T43
(10.5)
DNP
 
3
(120)
T2
(100)
DNP
 
DNP
 
2
(66.67)
DNP
 
T3
(30)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
Adam Scott
(387.33 pts)
T53
(0)
Win
(198)
DNP
 
T5
(93.33)
T14
(36)
DNP
 
DNP
 
T3
(60)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
Jason Dufner
(359 pts)
T9
(67.5)
T37
(19.5)
DNP
 
Win
(176)
T4
(80)
DNP
 
DNP
 
T26
(16)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
Tiger Woods
(335.33 pts)
T65
(0)
T2
(150)
DNP
 
T40
(13.33)
Win
(132)
DNP
 
DNP
 
T6
(40)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
Jim Furyk
(311.17 pts)
T27
(34.5)
T6
(90)
DNP
 
2
(133.33)
T9
(45)
DNP
 
T9
(15)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
Zach Johnson
(301.17 pts)
T27
(34.5)
DNP
 
T5
(46.67)
T8
(66.67)
T4
(80)
DNP
 
DNP
 
T6
(40)
DNP
 
DNP
 
T2
(33.33)
DNP
 
DNP
 
Matt Kuchar
(283.83 pts)
T4
(120)
T19
(46.5)
DNP
 
T22
(37.33)
T27
(23)
DNP
 
T2
(33.33)
T15
(23.33)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
T49
(0.33)
DNP
 
Jordan Spieth
(276.83 pts)
T4
(120)
T19
(46.5)
2
(66.67)
CUT
(-13.33)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
T44
(4)
DNP
 
DNP
 
Win
(44)
DNP
 
T23
(9)
Graham Delaet
(275 pts)
3
(135)
T2
(150)
DNP
 
CUT
(-13.33)
DNP
 
DNP
 
CUT
(-3.33)
83
(0)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
T30
(6.67)
Phil Mickelson
(261.17 pts)
T41
(13.5)
T6
(90)
DNP
 
T72
(0)
T21
(29)
DNP
 
DNP
 
Win
(88)
DNP
 
Win
(44)
DNP
 
DNP
 
CUT
(-3.33)
Gary Woodland
(252.17 pts)
T41
(13.5)
T2
(150)
DNP
 
74
(0)
DNP
 
Win
(88)
T61
(0)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
T48
(0.67)
DNP
 
T62
(0)
Steve Stricker
(251 pts)
2
(150)
DNP
 
DNP
 
T12
(50.67)
13
(37)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
T10
(13.33)
DNP
 
DNP
 
Justin Rose
(250 pts)
T16
(51)
T2
(150)
DNP
 
T33
(22.67)
T17
(33)
DNP
 
DNP
 
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
Keegan Bradley
(241.17 pts)
T16
(51)
T33
(25.5)
DNP
 
T19
(41.33)
T2
(100)
DNP
 
DNP
 
T15
(23.33)
DNP
 
DNP
 
T61
(0)
DNP
 
DNP
 
Sergio Garcia
(182.83 pts)
T4
(120)
T37
(19.5)
T29
(14)
T61
(0)
T40
(10)
DNP
 
DNP
 
T21
(19.33)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
Jason Day
(171.67 pts)
T13
(55.5)
T25
(37.5)
DNP
 
T8
(66.67)
T53
(0)
DNP
 
DNP
 
T32
(12)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
Roberto Castro
(165.67 pts)
T9
(67.5)
T25
(37.5)
CUT
(-6.67)
T12
(50.67)
DNP
 
DNP
 
T6
(20)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
T68
(0)
DNP
 
CUT
(-3.33)
Lee Westwood
(164.67 pts)
T27
(34.5)
T25
(37.5)
DNP
 
T33
(22.67)
T40
(10)
DNP
 
DNP
 
T3
(60)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
Jonas Blixt
(163.33 pts)
T53
(0)
T58
(0)
DNP
 
4
(106.67)
T59
(0)
DNP
 
DNP
 
T26
(16)
DNP
 
DNP
 
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
 
Win
(44)
Rory Sabbatini
(160.83 pts)
T53
(0)
T13
(55.5)
T8
(33.33)
DNP
 
DNP
 
T7
(36.67)
T12
(12.67)
DNP
 
T17
(11)
DNP
 
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
 
T9
(15)
Daniel Summerhays
(159.5 pts)
T22
(42)
T15
(52.5)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
 
T2
(33.33)
DNP
 
T4
(26.67)
DNP
 
T9
(15)
Ian Poulter
(151.83 pts)
T9
(67.5)
CUT
(-15)
DNP
 
T61
(0)
T19
(31)
DNP
 
DNP
 
T3
(60)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
T25
(8.33)
DNP
 
Webb Simpson
(150.83 pts)
T53
(0)
T15
(52.5)
T11
(26)
T25
(33.33)
T14
(36)
DNP
 
DNP
 
T64
(0)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
T41
(3)
Scott Piercy
(149.33 pts)
T13
(55.5)
T43
(10.5)
DNP
 
T5
(93.33)
T59
(0)
DNP
 
T52
(0)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
CUT
(-3.33)
Brendon De Jonge
(149 pts)
T9
(67.5)
T19
(46.5)
T52
(0)
T33
(22.67)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
T46
(1.33)
DNP
 
T54
(0)
DNP
 
T17
(11)

How Player Rankings are Computed

Who’s Not Hot in the field for the BMW Championship

Player Deutsche Bank Barclays Classic Wyndham PGA Championship WGC-Bridgestone Reno-Tahoe RBC Canadian British Open Sanderson Farms Scottish Open John Deere French Open Greenbrier Classic
Sang-Moon Bae
(-37 pts)
CUT
(-15)
CUT
(-15)
T52
(0)
CUT
(-13.33)
T53
(0)
DNP
 
T31
(6.33)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
Ken Duke
(-32.67 pts)
CUT
(-15)
CUT
(-15)
DNP
 
T57
(0)
T65
(0)
DNP
 
DNP
 
T64
(0)
DNP
 
DNP
 
T48
(0.67)
DNP
 
CUT
(-3.33)
Billy Horschel
(-22.33 pts)
T70
(0)
CUT
(-15)
DNP
 
CUT
(-13.33)
T44
(6)
DNP
 
T68
(0)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
T30
(6.67)
Jimmy Walker
(-8.33 pts)
CUT
(-15)
T54
(0)
CUT
(-6.67)
CUT
(-13.33)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
T2
(33.33)
Russell Henley
(1.33 pts)
T62
(0)
CUT
(-15)
DNP
 
CUT
(-13.33)
T27
(23)
DNP
 
DNP
 
T73
(0)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
T30
(6.67)
Scott Stallings
(3.17 pts)
T35
(22.5)
CUT
(-15)
DNP
 
T55
(0)
DNP
 
DNP
 
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP
 
DNP
 
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
 
T23
(9)
Angel Cabrera
(16.33 pts)
76
(0)
CUT
(-15)
DNP
 
WD
(-6.67)
T38
(12)
DNP
 
DNP
 
T11
(26)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
Charles Howell III
(19.17 pts)
T53
(0)
T33
(25.5)
DQ
(-3.33)
CUT
(-13.33)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
T26
(8)
DNP
 
T33
(5.67)
DNP
 
CUT
(-3.33)
Brian Gay
(28.33 pts)
T27
(34.5)
T43
(10.5)
DNP
 
CUT
(-13.33)
T63
(0)
DNP
 
73
(0)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
T61
(0)
DNP
 
CUT
(-3.33)
Michael Thompson
(41.33 pts)
T53
(0)
CUT
(-15)
DNP
 
T22
(37.33)
T21
(29)
DNP
 
DNP
 
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP
 
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 

How Player Rankings are Computed

The Buzz:

After playing at Cog Hill the last 20 of 22 years, it looks like the BMW Championship will return to it’s roots of when it was the Western Open and will be played at different courses in the mid-west, Rocky Mountains and West Coast.  This year the course is Conway Farms, a gem of a course in the northern part of Chicago.  After this year Cherry Hills in Denver will host the 2014 championship.  Since the sponsorship deal expires after 2014, future sites won’t be finalized until there is a firm commitment.  The rumors on future sites includes Conway Farm if this year is successful, Crooked Stick which held last year’s tournament and there is a very good chance that Harding Park in San Francisco may get a couple BMW’s, the first coming in 2016.  But that is nothing more than a rumor.

The change from Cog Hill or should I say the ditching of Cog Hill was swift and looks permanent.  When Cog Hill took over in 1991, it became the darling on the PGA Tour.  It combined two great things, a great course that was public and open to all.  When the club tried to coax the USGA and hold an Open, they made some changes to the course that wasn’t welcome by some of the players on the PGA Tour.  The course also had some conditioning problems and by 2010 the writing was on the wall, it lost it’s appeal.  The chances of it every holding another PGA Tour or major in the future is slim, but you never know what could change in ten or fifteen years to make it appealing again.

As for Conway Farms it’s a Tom Fazio creation that opened up in 1991.  This will be the first time that a PGA Tour event will be played on the course but it’s held elite college events including the NCAA DIvision I Championship and the Big Ten Championship.  It was the site of the 2009 Western Amateur, the 2012 USGA Mid-Amateur along with U.S. Open sectional qualifying.  So it’s had a fair share of great players and the course should know what it will take to have a great championship.

Here are some of the secrets of what it takes to play well at Conway Farms:

The par 71, 7,149 yard course was designed around the traditions of Scottish links style.  It’s on a lot of acreage, 210 acres with memorable holes that will challenge players.  There are three par 5s, with the last being a 570 yard par 5 with a creek running down the left side and in front of the green.  If tour officials move the tees up it could create a great finish.  That along with the 7th and 15th holes, very short drivable par 4s will bring the gambler out of players.

Not only does the course appeal to ball strikers and those that hit lots of greens, scrambling will be an important element in the way the greens slop off giving players a tough time getting it up and down.  Will the players eat this place up like they did the Deutsche Bank last week, probably not.  But at the same time there are a lot of birdie holes out there for players.

Key stat for the winner:

  • Just like in majors, the player that comes in and can adapt his game to the course will have the advantage.  Now this doesn’t mean that a Tiger Woods or a Phil Mickelson has the edge, we could see someone we least expect winning.  The same with Luke Donald, he has a big edge as he is a member of the club and plays there, but you have to also be playing well and Donald hasn’t shown much of a game this year.
  • There was a week off before hand, everyone will be fresh.  But for those that didn’t practice and play much last week, they could be a bit rusty early.
  •  Really think that long hitters will have a big advantage, this is a course that the Dustin Johnson’s could dominate.</li>
  • On the same note, two par 4s could be reachable.  But the par 5s could play tough and unless the Tour moves the tees up all three of them could be three-shot holes.
  • Even if Tiger Woods or Henrik Stenson wins it doesn’t mean they will be the FedEx Cup champions, but they will have a big advantage.  As for Player of the year, can’t see Henrk Stenson winning it, even if he runs the tables and wins this week and next.  As for Jason Dufner, he needs to run the table and for Phil Mickelson, Adam Scott and Justin Rose, they are running out of time and need at least a top-three this week.

Who to watch for at the BMW Championship

Best Bets:

Henrik Stenson

2012 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02 ’01
T52

Have to go with the player that has the best record from the last two months going. He is hitting the ball well, plus he hits it long which will help him this week. I can really see him winning both this week and next week. Who knows maybe this is the kiss of death for him, he hasn’t lived up the times that I have expected him to.

Phil Mickelson

2012 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02 ’01
T2 T56 T8 T30 T17 T65 T30 T42

Course should be good for him and he really wants to accomplish a lot this year including player of the year, money title and FedEx title. In order to accomplish these he has to win this week.

Adam Scott

2012 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02 ’01
T6 T37 T15 T50 4 T21

Another of those that this course should be good for him. Very disappointed at his play in the Deutsche Bank, think he will work very hard to make sure he isn’t flat this week.

Best of the rest:

Tiger Woods

2012 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02 ’01
T4 T15 Win Win T2 2 T7 Win T20

He is a big question mark. Not only can he win the big ones when he needs to, he can’t even get in contention when he should. His game has been humanized and he is not the reliable Tiger we grew up with. Still the course should favor him and he should do well, just don’t know what Tiger will show up.

Justin Rose

2012 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02 ’01
T16 Win T21 T5 T19 CUT

Past winner on another course, he could be a player this week on this course

Dustin Johnson

2012 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02 ’01
T6 T65 Win T30

His big game should go a long way this week.

Jason Day

2012 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02 ’01
T49 T54 T59

Watch him, he could be a person that does well this week.

2012 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02 ’01
First time playing in this event

Solid contenders

Bubba Watson

2012 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02 ’01
T12 T53 T50 T15 T28 T18 CUT

He needs to showcase his game this week on a course he could dominate on.

Keegan Bradley

2012 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02 ’01
T59 T16

Watch him, he hits it a long way and could be in contention.

Ian Poulter

2012 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02 ’01
T12 T13 T20 T10

Has been knocking on the door this summer, you would think that he would surprise us with a win.

Jordan Spieth

2012 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02 ’01
First time playing in this event

Again he will knock on the door this week as he has done all summer.

Long shots that could come through:

Gary Woodland

2012 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02 ’01
T16

One of the longest players on tour could have a very good week.

Graham DeLaet

2012 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02 ’01
T37

Has had a very good summer, look for his game to continue to show that he could win.

Scott Piercy

2012 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02 ’01
T37 T65 T40

Hits it a long way which could go a long way on this course.

Comments

  1. Thanks for the write up as usual Sal. I noticed both Duffner and Snedeker didn’t hit your radar this week as picks but for Duffner he’s on your Hot list near the top. Those are the two big guns that I haven’t used in my Survivor pool with two weeks left, wondering your thoughts on each. Also, is it crazy to think Luke Donald could contend based on being a member?

    Cheers

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