125 has become 70 as the FedEx Cup play-offs travel to Medinah. Who will book their place at the Tour Championship? Steve Carroll reveals his BMW Championship betting tips
It’s the penultimate week of the PGA Tour season as the FedEx Cup bandwagon moves on to Chicago and Medinah. But who’s going to get their hands on the trophy? Here are our BMW Championship betting tips.
Date: August 15-18, 2019
Venue: Medinah CC (No. 3), Medinah, Illinois, USA
Course stats: Par 72, 7,657 yards
Course summary: Tiger Woods has won two PGA Championships on this course, which has hosted big tournaments now for 70 years. A demanding length, contenders will need to be long and relatively straight off the tee. The 12th is considered a memorable experience.
Purse: $9.25 million
Defending champion: Keegan Bradley (-20, beat Justin Rose in a play-off)
Thursday: Featured groups, Sky Sports Golf – red button, 2.45pm; Sky Sports Golf 5pm; Sky Sports Golf, 8pm
Friday: Featured groups, Sky Sports Golf – red button, 2.45pm; Sky Sports Golf 5pm; Sky Sports Golf, 8pm; Sky Sports Main Event, 10pm
Saturday: Sky Sports Golf, 7pm; Sky Sports Main Event, 8.30pm
Sunday: Sky Sports Golf, 7pm; Sky Sports Main Event, 7.30pm
BMW Championship betting tips: Steve’s players to follow
There’s no course form to guide us this week – with Medinah’s No. 3 course not seen in action since the Ryder Cup in 2012 – but, in theory at least, concentrating on great driving should reveal the main contenders.
There are thousands of trees on this course. Combine this with some decent length and it points at those who can keep the ball in play while propelling it almighty distances.
So sorry Jordan but I don’t think is this going to be your week.
If Rory McIlroy (15/2), on the other hand, can get a grip of his ball flight with iron in hand then he could definitely thrive.
The four-time major winner admitted he struggled to keep his shots under control last week and yet still finished 6th at the Northern Trust.
You know he’s going to be around the top 10 – he’s had 13 of those finishes this year – and no one is better in strokes gained off the tee than the Northern Irishman.
In fact, it’s not even close. He’s making 1.2 shots per round on the field. To put that in context, sitting in second in that category is Jon Rahm at 0.796.
McIlroy’s taking the better part of half a stroke out of the next best player on the PGA Tour every time he plays a round. Incredible.
Perhaps I should be concerned that he ranks 115th in accuracy but the rough isn’t particularly challenging here. Find the short stuff, or the first cut, as McIlroy often does and you’ll be fine.
Few people can have such strong memories going back to a course as Ian Poulter (55/1) will have this week.
If returning to the scene of his greatest triumph doesn’t stir the emotions for the Englishman then he’s basically dead inside. And we all know that’s not Poulter.
I’m wary of considering the Ryder Cup as a significant factor but it remains the case that Poulter’s reputation was cemented during that amazing three days in 2012 and it doesn’t take much to fire up Europe’s talisman.
It’s worth noting that he arrives with some decent form too. Around the pack at the Northern Trust before finishing tied for 10th, he was also in the top 10 at the FedEx St Jude.
That followed a couple of missed cuts and, while Poulter has talked in the past about the effect playing lots of very competitive golf in such a short pace of time can have on him physically, I want to have him on my side.
Length would be a concern but the rest of his game is generally in such good shape that I’m prepared to take the chance.
If he can back up such a massive week at The Northern Trust then I’d be tempted to weigh in again on Abraham Ancer (75/1).
The Mexican hardly buckled as he posted his best finish on the PGA Tour when runner up to Reed. And if we’re saying driving is important then there aren’t many who find the short stuff on a more regular basis than this guy.
Ranked 9th on the PGA Tour, he is hitting more than seven out of 10 fairways and is also tied 10th strokes gained off the tee. I’d prefer him to be longer but I’ll take an average of 292 yards as long as he can avoid spraying it into the woods.
Last week wasn’t a flash in the pan, either. Tied 8th at the Travelers, he suddenly finds himself in the FedEx Cup top 10 and another strong week could be worth an awful lot of money.
Elsewhere, I could have a small investment on Justin Thomas (14/1). The price is a little on the short side in what has been a forgettable season for the former major winner.
But, having taken some time to get over his wrist injury, he’s finished just outside the top 10 in his last three starts.
It’s only a matter of time before he’s challenging and a closing 68 – his best final round since April – suggests it won’t be long.
And it would seem foolish not to give Jon Rahm (10/1) serious consideration. A monster with a driver in his hands, his worst finish in his last six tournaments is 11th. He’s simply a contender every single week.
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