It’s down to 70. The Top 70 players in the FedEx Cup standings, all be it a little later in the week than expected, are headed to Maryland for the 2nd leg of the playoffs.
This tournament has seen many hosts over the last several years, which is tough for the players, especially this week. There is no familiarity, so the shortened tournament week due to Hurricane Henri will be an interesting obstacle for the guys to overcome.
It’s a different venue, but World No. 1 Jon Rahm is the defending champion. If you remember, which I’m sure you do, Rahm beat DJ in a playoff after hitting a 90 footer for the W. He was at the top of the leaderboard 97% of the time in NYC, but played his last 4 holes +2. I’m sure he’ll be up there again this week.
Jordan Spieth had himself an interesting week at Liberty National. He shot over par in 3 of his 4 rounds, carded a 79, but also signed for a 62. If that isn’t the true essence of J. Spieth, I don’t know what is. He enters the week 7th in the FedEx Cup standings.
Tony Finau moved up to #1 in the FEC standings after his win at Liberty National, and will look to build on that down in Maryland. Part of me thinks this win will open the flood gates for Tony, part of me thinks we won’t see another Tony Finau win for years. He’s like a solar eclipse.
Caves Valley Golf Club
Just over 7,500 yards
Tom Fazio design, opened in 1991
This is a long track. I’m not saying that driving distance should be the lone thing you consider this week when you place your bets, but carry distance off the tee will take some of the fairway bunkers out of play.
We’ve never seen this golf course on Tour before. Sure, it’s hosted some events in the past including the 2007 Palmer Cup (DJ, Webb Simpson, Billy Ho, and others were on that team). Because of this, it’s tough to really know what’s important around this place.
The rough is gonna be up, and the guys will have some long approach shots. Take tee-to-green ball-strikers this week. Let’s find some guys who are keeping it in play, and hopefully we run into a hot putter on these bent grass greens.
Data Golf Information
New course on Tour means no course comparisons. Sorry folks, blame DG.
Trending (of the players in the field): 1. Jon Rahm (Last 3 starts: 7th, T3, 3rd), 2. Harris English (T46, 4, T31), 3. Cameron Smith (T33, T5, 2)
% Chance to Win (Baseline, Course History & Fit): 1. Jon Rahm (13.5%), 2. Collin Morikawa (4.3%), 3. Patrick Cantlay (3.9%)
Players to Watch
I can confidently say I expect Jon Rahm to be at the top of the leaderboard come this weekend. But, did you see those odds? Really, did you look? +600. DraftKings is +550. I ain’t touching that.
Also, with a limited field, it’s gonna be tough to find good value.
Kevin Na is gonna be a great guy to target further down the board.
Last 4 starts: T2, T23, T2, T8.
Over his last 50 rounds on Bentgrass greens, he’s 6th in SG: Putting.
Over his last 3 starts, he’s hit 67.86% of fairways. For context, that would rank 20th on Tour for the season. He only hit 52% of greens at Liberty National, but his short game is money – he’s 1st in SG: ATG this season on Tour.
+6500 to win.
Corey Connors‘ putter is ICE cold. Let’s root for that to turn around this week.
His tee-to-green game is fantastic. He’s 25th in SG: APP over his last 24 rounds, and 16th OTT.
He’s 9th in FIR this season on Tour and 11th in GIR.
3 Top 15 finishes in his last 4 starts (including the Olympics). T8 at the Northern Trust.
+3300 to win.
Sam Burns has played great over the last few weeks.
T21 at the Northern Trust, T2 at the WGC FedEx.
His SG numbers over his last 24 look great as well…
He’s long off the tee which will help around this place, averaging 305 on the season.
+5000 to win
Justin Thomas put his ole’ trusty putter back in the bag for the Northern Trust, and he rolled it great – 11th SG: Putting.
His swing looked a lot more calm last week, foot work was minimal, and he hit A LOT of quality iron shots. 14th in SG: TTG.
He’s +2000 to win on DraftKings.
Betting Picks for the BMW
Rory McIlroy – Top 20 (-110, DraftKings)
Justin Thomas – Top 10 (+180, DraftKings)
Maverick McNealy – Top 30 (+150, Fanduel)
Sam Burns – Top 30 (-115)
Viktor Hovland – Top 20 (+115, Fanduel)
Cover via Golf.com (Getty)