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BMW Championship picks and predictions for this week. The PGA Tour heads to Delaware for the second leg of the FedEx Cup playoffs. Golf handicapper Andy Lack is here to break it all down and give us his early picks.
ANALYSIS

BMW Championship Picks and Predictions: Look for Justin Thomas, Collin Morikawa to Find Success

We've officially arrived at the second leg of the FedEx Cup playoffs, the BMW Championship. This tournament was introduced in 2007, after being previously known as the Western Open. The field is comprised of the top 70 players in the FedEx Cup standings following the conclusion of the FedEx St. Jude's Championship. It's a no-cut event, and at week's end, the top 30 in the FedEx Cup standings will advance to the final event of the season, the Tour Championship. The field is loaded with the best golfers from the 2022 season, and it will be fascinating to see how they tackle a brand new venue, Wilmington Country Club.

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BMW Championship Course Preview

Wilmington Country Club

Click Here for Complete BMW Championship Odds

Wilmington Country Club is a course that we've never before seen in the PGA Tour competition, but knowledge of its designer, Robert Trent Jones, should help us get a sense of the challenge players will face this week. Robert Trent Jones has designed a number of courses that we do possess data on, including Robert Trent Jones Golf Club, host of the 2015 Quicken Loans, Congressional Country Club, host of the 2011 U.S. Open, the 2012 and 2013 AT & T National, and the 2014 and 2016 Quicken Loans. Firestone Country Club, host of the WGC - Bridgestone up to 2018, and Grand National, host of the Barbasol Championship from 2015 to 2017, are also helpful resources. Jones is responsible as well for Baltusrol, host of the 2016 PGA Championship, Bellerive, host of the 2018 PGA Championship, and Hazeltine, host of the 2009 PGA Championship and 2016 Ryder Cup, but these should act as secondary references, as Wilmington Country Club will not play as difficult as a major championship.

There are many commonalities between all of these Jones-designed courses, but what stood out to me the most is how little resistance they provide from tee to green. While the fairways at all of these courses are on the narrower side, there is little penalty for wayward driving. Thus, the emphasis falls on the second shot. Similar to Jack Nicklaus courses, Jones courses get more challenging the closer players get to the hole. Wilmington Country Club features massive and undulating 8,100 square foot green complexes, surrounded by deep bunkers. Players should have the ability to hit their fare share of drivers off the tee, leaving a large plurality of mid to short iron approaches, as eight par fours measure between 390 and 450 yards. I will primarily be looking to identify elite middle to short iron players, who are also above-average bunker players and lag putters.

BMW Championship Picks

BMW Championship Key Stats

  • Long-term Proximity 125-175 yards
  • Approach Putting
  • Sand Saves

Let's dig into my outright BMW Championship picks for the week.

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BMW Championship Picks and Predictions: Outright Winner

Justin Thomas (+1800) (Bet $100 to Win $1,800)

*Odds Available at Bet365 at time of publishing

I've spoken at length about how at an extremely elementary level, the keys to success on Robert Trent Jones courses are middle iron play, bunker play, and lag putting, and Justin Thomas is one of only two players in this field that I can confidently say is elite at all three of those skill-sets. He finished fourth at Robert Trent Jones Golf Club, 12th at Congressional, sixth at Bellerive, and first and seventh at Firestone, all on Robert Trent Jones golf courses. Coming off a strong Sunday where he vaulted up the leaderboard at the FedEx St. Jude's, the recent PGA Championship winner should be brimming with confidence, and I expect him to capture his 16th career victory in Wilmington.

Collin Morikawa (+2800) (Bet $100 to Win $2,800)

*Odds Available at Bet365 at time of publishing

As the lead player in this column last week, Collin Morikawa gave a strong effort in the first playoff event with a top-five finish at FedEx St. Jude's Championship. He had a real opportunity to post a number and make the leaders sweat, but two missed putts inside six feet on the back nine sunk his chances. I am far from deterred by the near miss, as Morikawa looked strong in all aspects of his game, gaining over a stroke in all four major categories for the first time since the Genesis Invitational, all the way back in February. What leaves me feeling even more encouraged is how the iron play improved over the weekend. The two-time major winner gained four strokes on approach on Saturday and Sunday alone. Even in a down year, Morikawa remains the best short to middle iron player in the world, and he had the ball on a string over his last two rounds in Memphis. I expect him to carry this momentum into Delaware and be firmly in the mix come Sunday afternoon at the BMW Championship.

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Article Author

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Golf
insightpicks

Andy Lack is a PGA Tour writer and podcaster from Manhattan, New York. Andy came to OddsChecker in January 2022 after previously writing for Golf Digest, GolfWRX, Rotoballer, and the Score. Andy is also the host of a golf betting and daily fantasy podcast, Inside Golf Podcast, as well as "The Scramble” with Rick Gehman, and a recurring guest on the Pat Mayo Experience. In his free time, Andy is still grinding away at his lifelong dream of qualifying for the U.S. Amateur, and if not writing, can likely be found somewhere on a golf course.

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