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BlogBMW Preview and Picks

BMW Championship

September 8th – 11th, 2016

Conway Farms G.C.

Lake Forest, IL

Par: 71 / Yardage: 7,497

Purse:$8.5 million

$1,530,000 to the winner

Defending Champion:
Jason Day

BMWChamp2016

by Sal Johnson

Founder, Chief Data Officer, GOLFstats

E-mail me at:
sal@golfstats.com

pga-fedex-cup-logo

This week’s field includes:

Of the 69 players in the field, 58 of them are in the top-100 of the Official World Rankings.  The field includes 36 of the top 50 in the latest Official World Rankings, with 9, top-ten players in the field (Henrik Stenson is injured): #1 Jason Day, #2 Dustin Johnson, #3 Rory McIlroy, #4 Jordan Spieth, #6 Adam Scott, #7 Bubba Watson, #8 Patrick Reed, #9 Rickie Fowler and #10 Justin Rose.

From 11 to 25 there are 13 of the 15 with #12 Sergio Garcia, #13 Branden Grace, #14 Phil Mickelson, #15 Jimmy Walker, #16 Hideki Matsuyama, #17 Matt Kuchar, #18 Louis Oosthuizen, #19 Russell Knox, #20 Brooks Koepka, #21 J.B. Holmes, #22 Paul Casey, #24 Brandt Snedeker and #25 Zach Johnson.

Between 26 and 50 there are 14 of the 25, they are #26 Emiliano Grillo, #28 Charl Schwartzel, #31 Scott Piercy, #32 Kevin Chappell, #33 Kevin Kisner, #34 Justin Thomas, #35 Kevin Na, #36 Bill Haas, #37 Ryan Moore, #40 Daniel Berger, #42 William McGirt, #48 Marc Leishman, #49 Charley Hoffman and #50 Gary Woodland.

Last year there was 38 players from the top-50.

The field includes 69 of the top-70 from the FedEx Cup rankings.

The field includes all 24 players in the top 25 on this year’s PGA Tour money list. 

The field includes six past champions: Jason Day (2015), Billy Horschel (2014), Zach Johnson (2013), Rory McIlroy (2012), Justin Rose (2011) and Dustin Johnson (2010).

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.  Another way to check who is the best is through a special formula worked out in Golfstats that gives us the best average performances at the BMW field in the last five years or check out our sortable 8-year glance at the BMW field.

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.

**NOTE**

One thing to look for is our new GOLFstats IQ.  For those that play in fantasy golf it’s a perfect way to help you pick those players in Draft Kings and Victiv games.  You can customize the list of those in the tournaments, to look back a couple or many years of tournament stats and you can go back a couple or ten weeks prior to the tournament.  On top of that, all the stats are fully sortable to help you pick your six players, we even give you their value for the week to help you chose.

That’s GOLFstats IQ, give it a try and tell us what you think of it

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So if you own a Iphone or a Ipad we have developed a perfect app called GOLF IQ.

 

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 Champ. John Deere Olympic Men’s Travelers Champ. PGA Champ. Canadian Open British Open Barbasol Champ. Scottish Open WGC Bridgestone
Patrick Reed
(471 pts)
T5
(105)
Win
(198)
T22
(28)
DNP T11
(26)
T11
(26)
T13
(49.33)
DNP T12
(25.33)
DNP T10
(13.33)
52
(0)
Jason Day
(381.5 pts)
T15
(52.5)
T4
(120)
DNP DNP DNP DNP 2
(133.33)
T14
(12)
T22
(18.67)
DNP DNP T3
(45)
Jimmy Walker
(308.33 pts)
3
(135)
CUT
(-15)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP Win
(176)
T14
(12)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP T16
(17)
Adam Scott
(307.33 pts)
4
(120)
T4
(120)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T18
(42.67)
DNP T43
(4.67)
DNP DNP T10
(20)
Emiliano Grillo
(303.83 pts)
T33
(25.5)
T2
(150)
DNP DNP T8
(33.33)
DNP T13
(49.33)
T43
(2.33)
T12
(25.33)
DNP DNP T14
(18)
Ryan Moore
(270.17 pts)
T8
(75)
T7
(82.5)
T53
(0)
Win
(88)
DNP T17
(22)
T70
(0)
DNP T46
(2.67)
DNP DNP DNP
Paul Casey
(264.17 pts)
2
(150)
T31
(28.5)
DNP DNP DNP T17
(22)
T10
(53.33)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP T16
(17)
Rory McIlroy
(259.83 pts)
Win
(198)
T31
(28.5)
DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-13.33)
DNP T5
(46.67)
DNP DNP DNP
Dustin Johnson
(239 pts)
T8
(75)
T18
(48)
DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-13.33)
T2
(33.33)
T9
(30)
DNP DNP Win
(66)
Hideki Matsuyama
(231.5 pts)
T15
(52.5)
CUT
(-15)
T3
(90)
DNP DNP DNP T4
(106.67)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP T42
(4)
Si Woo Kim
(215.17 pts)
T15
(52.5)
CUT
(-15)
Win
(132)
DNP DNP T25
(16.67)
CUT
(-13.33)
T23
(9)
DNP 2
(33.33)
DNP DNP
Jordan Spieth
(211.17 pts)
T21
(43.5)
T10
(60)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T13
(49.33)
DNP T30
(13.33)
DNP DNP T3
(45)
Russell Knox
(204.5 pts)
T15
(52.5)
T60
(0)
DNP DNP DNP Win
(88)
T22
(37.33)
DNP T30
(13.33)
DNP T10
(13.33)
54
(0)
Louis Oosthuizen
(190.17 pts)
T8
(75)
T18
(48)
DNP DNP DNP T17
(22)
T22
(37.33)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP T21
(14.5)
Gary Woodland
(185.83 pts)
T15
(52.5)
T4
(120)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T38
(8)
CUT
(-13.33)
DNP T12
(25.33)
DNP DNP DNP
Kevin Na
(184.33 pts)
T11
(58.5)
CUT
(-15)
T10
(40)
T8
(33.33)
DNP DNP T22
(37.33)
DNP T22
(18.67)
DNP DNP T27
(11.5)
Jhonattan Vegas
(176.17 pts)
T33
(25.5)
T22
(42)
DNP DNP T50
(0.67)
DNP T22
(37.33)
Win
(44)
DNP T4
(26.67)
DNP DNP
Justin Rose
(174.5 pts)
T57
(0)
T31
(28.5)
DNP DNP Win
(88)
DNP T22
(37.33)
DNP T22
(18.67)
DNP DNP T46
(2)
Rickie Fowler
(170.5 pts)
T46
(6)
T7
(82.5)
T22
(28)
DNP T37
(8.67)
DNP T33
(22.67)
DNP T46
(2.67)
DNP DNP T10
(20)
Sean O’Hair
(161.33 pts)
T53
(0)
T2
(150)
T22
(28)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP
Jason Kokrak
(159.5 pts)
T8
(75)
T7
(82.5)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP T34
(10.67)
T49
(1.33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Brandt Snedeker
(155.5 pts)
T46
(6)
T48
(3)
T3
(90)
DNP DNP DNP T56
(0)
T5
(23.33)
T22
(18.67)
DNP DNP T21
(14.5)
Phil Mickelson
(153.67 pts)
CUT
(-15)
T13
(55.5)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T33
(22.67)
DNP 2
(66.67)
DNP T13
(12.33)
T27
(11.5)
Matt Kuchar
(137.33 pts)
T46
(6)
T64
(0)
DNP DNP 3
(60)
T17
(22)
CUT
(-13.33)
T9
(15)
T46
(2.67)
DNP DNP T3
(45)
Brooks Koepka
(134.17 pts)
T57
(0)
T70
(0)
DNP DNP DNP T9
(30)
T4
(106.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP WD
(-2.5)

How Player Rankings are Computed

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

Player Deutsche Bank Barclays Classic Wyndham Champ. John Deere Olympic Men’s Travelers Champ. PGA Champ. Canadian Open British Open Barbasol Champ. Scottish Open WGC Bridgestone
Smylie Kaufman
(8.83 pts)
T24
(39)
CUT
(-15)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
CUT
(-13.33)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP T27
(11.5)
Jon Curran
(12.67 pts)
T67
(0)
T68
(0)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
T33
(22.67)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP
Kevin Streelman
(18.67 pts)
T57
(0)
T22
(42)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
CUT
(-13.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP
Marc Leishman
(21 pts)
T46
(6)
CUT
(-15)
DNP DNP DNP T9
(30)
T60
(0)
DNP T53
(0)
DNP DNP 55
(0)
Chris Kirk
(21 pts)
T33
(25.5)
CUT
(-15)
T46
(4)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-13.33)
T14
(12)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP T21
(14.5)
Jamie Lovemark
(22.67 pts)
71
(0)
T22
(42)
DNP T34
(10.67)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
CUT
(-13.33)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Charles Howell III
(24 pts)
T24
(39)
CUT
(-15)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Harris English
(31.67 pts)
T41
(13.5)
T60
(0)
T46
(4)
DNP DNP DNP T60
(0)
DNP T46
(2.67)
DNP DNP T27
(11.5)
Kyle Reifers
(35.83 pts)
T41
(13.5)
T68
(0)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
T22
(37.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP T35
(5)
DNP DNP
Graeme McDowell
(36.67 pts)
CUT
(-15)
CUT
(-15)
T5
(70)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-13.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
T63
(0)
DNP T10
(13.33)
DNP

How Player Rankings are Computed

The Buzz:

So it’s the third leg of the FedEx Cup playoffs, this is probably the one with the biggest cut off.  Up until now you can see that a lot of players that won in 2016, guys like Charley Hoffman (35), Tony Finau (37), James Hahn (38), Jim Herman (40), Graeme McDowell (44), Justin Rose (49), Brian Stuard (51) and Vaughn Taylor (63) are still in the FedEx Cup playoffs but will get cut on Sunday, unless they have a good week.  This is the overall problem I have with the way the FedEx Cup is done.  It gives way too much credence for that one win and for those that do well in the Barclays and Deutsche Bank.  So for a lot of the winners in 2016, they are just hanging on because of those wins and will be gone by next week.

One person that will be around for the Tour Championship is Paul Casey, who started the playoffs 68th and with his T-31st finish at the Barclays and 2nd at the Deutsche Bank is now 10th.  As for Casey he again got himself in great position to win a tile and again didn’t get the job done.  Now many will say hey Rory McIlroy shot a final round 65 to snatch the win away from Casey who started the day three ahead.  But I counter it with this, Casey shot a final round 73 and in a field of 72 on Monday, 73 or higher was shot by 18 players so Casey didn’t play very well.  Still that’s Casey, in 194 starts on the PGA Tour he has only won once, the 2009 Shell Houston Open.  He has six runner-up finishes and three, 3rd place finishes.  The problem I have with all of this, Casey has one win and winnings of $16.7 million and it seems that you can be a millionaire for just playing well.  You would be shocked to see how much some players have made for very little wins.  Charles Howell is a perfect example, he has won $30.8 million for two wins, the last coming in 2007.  Still for those playing fantasy golf you want to avoid players like Casey or Howell that each week are a lot of money and never seem to connect with that win.

Is the summer getting too long?

The answer is yes, yes and yes again.  Since the middle of June, we have seen three majors,  a WGC event played the Olympics.  Put that together with the FedEx Cup playoffs and then jetting straight off to Minnesota for the Ryder Cup that’s a lot of golf for all the marquee players.  The schedule is a bit better this year giving players a week off inbetween the BMW Championship and the Tour Championship but if you ask most of the top players they would like to see one important event a month instead of having 10 of them in a span of three months.

Tournament information:

The Western Open was originally founded and run by the Western Golf Association. First played in 1899, the event is the third oldest professional golf tournament (U.S. Open and British Open are older). Like the other golf tournaments of the time, the Western Open was dominated by visiting professionals from England and Scotland. In its early decades, it was widely regarded as a major championship

From 1899 until 1961, the Western Open was played at a variety of locations including Phoenix, Salt Lake City, and San Francisco to name a few. Beginning in 1962, however, the Western Open settled into the Chicago area. It was hosted at different local courses in and around the city.

In 1974, the Butler National Golf Club in Oak Brook, became the annual venue for the Western Open. The Butler National Golf Club remained the host site until shortly after the 1990 tournament, when the PGA Tour adopted a policy of holding events only at clubs that allowed minorities to be members.

This resulted in Butler National being replaced by the Cog Hill Golf & Country Club in Lemont, Illinois. The Dubsdread Course at Cog Hill played host to the Western Open from 1991 to 2007. With the advent of the new FedEx Cup Series, the PGA Tour decided a change of name was in order. The event name change to the BMW Championship.  Along with the change it was decided to move the tournament around. In 2008 for the first time since 1962 the event was not played in the Chicago area as it moved to St. Louis for the year. In 2012 it went to Indianapolis, Indiana, in 2013 it went for the first time to Conway Farms, site of this year’s BMW Championship.  Last year it was played at Cherry Hills in Denver.  In the future it’s going to be played at Crooked Stick next year and at Aronimink outside of Philadelphia in 2018.  No venue for 2017 but the quiet rumors say that Harding Park in San Francisco could one day host this event.

Back to Crooked Stick

The par 72, 7,516 yard course was designed around the traditions of Scottish links style.  It’s the first real course that Pete Dye ever built and opened and will produce a great week, except if it rains like it did in 2012 the last time the BMW was held at Crooked Stick.

Let’s take a look at key stats that are important for those playing at the Crooked Stick:

This is based on the most vital stats from Crooked Stick, based on data from the 2012 BMW CHampionship when the course was last used on the PGA Tour and using data from all the players in the field with stats from 2016.

Crooked Stick is Pete Dye’s first big golf course. In 1964 Dye found 60 crazy golfers that bought into his idea of having a first class cross in the Indianapolis area and put up the money so that Dye could but some flat cornfields and transform the property into a unique links style course. He was the first modern architect to build a touch of Scotland in the heartland of America using familiar challenges in Scotland: railroad ties, strip bunkers, sand and grass pot bunkers, mounds and blind spots. Some of the things that sent Crooked Stick and Dye apart from anything else built in America was building a course in which no consecutive holes are laid out in the same direction so a player can’t adjust to wind because it comes from different directions on each hole. He also built holes that are very inconsistent. One hole will be long followed by a short hole. Each hole will be different in which one hole will call for right-to-left shots and then the next hole will require left-to-right shots. So Crooked Stick was a course that you had to think your way through it, you just couldn’t find a stretch of holes in which play the same, that doesn’t exist.

So Crooked Stick is meant to be a challenge for players, but in 2012 when the BMW Championship was held on the course mother nature played havoc to the course. Pre-tournament rains made the course soft and play easy, but on Friday night close to 4 inches of rain fell and made the course almost unplayable. To make the course playable the course was set up easier than it was meant to be and along with lift, clean and place rules the players tore the course apart over the weekend. The course played to a 70.54 average, almost a shot and a half under par. It ranked 43rd of the 49 courses ranked so it was really easy.
Very heavy rain has hit the indianapolis area in the weeks leading up to the tournament, but officials still feel that they can dry it out and get it to play like it’s suppose to play, a links style course. The trick to playing well at Crooked Stick is the shots into the greens. In a way it’s a lot like Augusta National, very generous fairways but you have to place drives in the right place to have a better shot into the greens.

The stats from 2012 are off the charts in making it seem like the course is easier than it really is, so it would be miss-leading in telling you the rankings. But we can still use the categories with player rankings from 2016 to help look which player is best suited to do well this week.

So will every phase of the game be examined at Crooked Stick? Probably if the weather cooperates and right now that is in danger. In looking at the forecast it’s going to be great until game-time on Thursday as it’s a 60% chance of rain. Friday is the worst with 90% chance of thunderstorms with it going down to 60% for Saturday. After that Sunday and Monday are good, so this event may go to Monday.

So in looking at our four categories, our first is Strokes Gained off-the-tee. This is going to be important in poor weather because the fairways are pretty wide and with the rain those that hit it long and straight have the advantage. Our second stat is Greens in Regulation, this is probably the most important stat for the week, because a player that does well in this will score low. In order to score low you will need to putt well so our third stat is Strokes Gained putting. This uses all the combinations of how far each put is and how many you make. Last is Par-Breakers because a player will have to make lot’s of birdies and eagles to win.

This is the third leg of the FedEx Cup playoffs, so we will see how things shape up for the Tour Championship. In a way this event has the biggest cut back as the 70 players are shaved to 30 for East Lake.

*Strokes Gained off-the-tee: A way of seeing how many shots are saved with drives off the tee.

*Greens in Regulation: A way to judge who hits the most greens in regulation. The closure a player gets to hitting 18 greens, the better his score can be.

*Strokes Gained putting: This is a way of judging who makes the most putts gauging them from length of putts.

*Par-Breakers: Showing who makes the most eagles and birdies.

Players from this year’s field with stats from 2016:

Click any column title in the table header to sort columns.

For the rest of the players, hit this link:

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 Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth or a Jason Day has the edge, we could see someone we least expect winning.  Still have to think that another long hitter will rule this week.
  • In 2012 280 rounds were played with 178, 63% of them being underpart.  In 1991 at the PGA Championship out of 454 rounds played, 119 of them were under par for a more reasonable 26%.  With the possibility of bad weather look for scores to again be low and those that go under par the most will win.
  • In 2012 of the 1,165 birdies made almost half of them, 498 were made on the par 5s so look for the player that destroys par 5s to do well this week.
  • Even if Jason Day, Jordan Spieth, Patrick Reed or Rory McIlroy wins it doesn’t mean they will be the FedEx Cup champions, but they will have a big advantage and they will control their destiny at the Tour Championship.  As for Player of the year, this is the longest in memory that a season has gone on this long without a clear cut favorite to win that award.

Who to watch for at the BMW Championship

Best Bets:

Rory McIlroy

2016 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04
T4 T8 T59 Win T37

He wins in streaks and I have a feeling he is about to go on a streak. His whole problem was putting and when he tweaked something on Saturday and putted well, you knew that was problems for everyone else. I would say the probability of him winning is very high. Oh, in 2012 McIlroy won the Deutsche Bank and then followed that up with a win at the BMW Championship at Crooked Stick.

Adam Scott

2016 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04
T8 T28 T6 T37 T15 T50 4 T21

Have been watching him and is game seems to be coming around, can it be good enough to beat Rory?

Dustin Johnson

2016 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04
T7 T62 T6 T65 Win T30

Another course that he can tear apart, but he seems not to be playing well. Watch him, think he will turn things around.

2016 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04
First time playing in this event

Best of the rest:

Jordan Spieth

2016 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04
T13 T8 T16

I see some spark in him, yes maybe it’s time for him to win again.

Ryan Moore

2016 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04
T28 T50 T11 T10 T16 T3 T30 T18 T54 CUT

Has played well in his last four events including a win. Was T-10th at Crooked Stick in 2012.

Patrick Reed

2016 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04
T28 T53 T59

He too is on a role right now and he could add this to his list on the way to winning the FedEx Cup.

Jason Day

2016 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04
Win WD T4 T49 T54 T59

Another bomber that could benefit with a course up his alley. Just remember this, since missed the cut at the Farmers in January, he has played in 16 events and only been out of the top-25 once, a T-27 at the Memorial. So he could be a very good choice this week.

Solid contenders

Paul Casey

2016 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04
T23 2

Was great for three rounds at the Deutsche Bank, can he keep things rolling?

Bubba Watson

2016 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04
T10 2 T24 T12 T53 T50 T15 T28 T18 CUT

Boy has he had a tough time since winning in L.A. in February. This is a course he should be all over but I thought the same of Bubba at the Deutsche Bank and he missed the cut.

Jimmy Walker

2016 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04
T32 T20 T11 64 T22 CUT

Could he find the game to do well this week? Course could be good for him, was 64th on it in 2012 but did open up with a 67.

Hideki Matsuyama

2016 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04
T7 T20

Another of those players that could go off and win at any time. Only problem, he may not hit it long enough.

Long shots that could come through:

Gary Woodland

2016 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04
T60 T23 T18 T16

Hits it long and has been playing well of late.

Tony Finau

2016 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04
T47

Another of those bombers that could take advantage of his length this week.

Branden Grace

2016 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04
First time playing in this event

Has not played well of late, but did shot a final round 66 at the Deutsche Bank.

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