The mad scientist in Bryson DeChambeau picked up his second win a row on Monday, at The Dell Technologies Championship, to give himself a sizable lead in The FedEx Cup standings. Now, after a short lay off only two days, The FedEx Cup Playoffs continue at The 2018 BMW Championship, which is the second to last event of the playoffs. The top 70 players in FedEx Cup points are eligible to compete at Aronimink Golf Club (par 70, 7,267 yards), which is located in Newton Square, Pennsylvania. This will be the first time this course has held The BMW Championship. The 2010 and 2011 ATT&T National, now known as The Quicken Loans National, were the only other PGA events to take place at Aronimink. Justin Rose won in 2010 (-10) and then Nick Watney in 2011 (-13). Right off the bat, as a par 70, a primary trend for success at this Donald Ross designed course is par four scoring. Watney led the field in scoring on these par fours and Rose ranked 3rd. (eight of the par fours are between 400-450 yards) The next skill that really stood out was putting. Watney ranked 2nd in average putts per round and Rose ranked T10, with them averaging 8.6 SGP at Aronimink in their wins. Strong putting is needed for any PGA victory, but these are rather high numbers, making me target players who are rolling it well right now, more so than usual.
As for your game off the tee, both short and long players can manage Aronimink, but I think longer hitters, as usual, will have an advantage. During Watney’s win in 2011, he ranked 4th in distance and five of top six players ranked T21st or better in distance that year. Plus, both of these last two winners at this course didn’t post that high of a finishing score, leading me to believe this old school course will be a decent test again. This makes players who are avoiding the high numbers more intriguing to me this week. (Rose ranked T3 in bogeys avoided in 2010) All in all, when we don’t have much data on a course, the best thing to do is focus on recent form, specifically the main stats in DFS Golf. (SGT2G and BOB%) There is no cut for this event and after this week, the top 30 in the standings will make their way to East Lake for the 2018 Tour Championship. @Hunta512.
Hideki Matsuyama: (9,700)
At The Dell Technologies Championship, Hideki started the week with an even par 71, but then he shot under par in his final three rounds, getting better each day, leading to a final round six under 65 and a T4 finish. That even par 71 was only his third round of shooting par or worse in his last three starts. In this stretch, he is gaining 7.5 strokes total per start, has posted three top 15s, and ranks 8th in SGT2G, 3rd in SG APP, 14th in GIR, 6th in ball striking, 34th in DD, 12th in SG on par fours, 9th in SG on par fours between 400-450 yards, 5th in BOB%, 31st in bogeys avoided, and 28th in SGP. (via Fantasy National)
Speaking of putting, he has gained strokes with his putter in three of his past four events, at an average of 2.3 strokes, which is a great improvement for a Mastuyama, who has always let his game on the greens be his lone downfall. His big showing at TPC Boston brought him up to 28th in point standings and now he needs another quality this weekend if he want to stay in the top 30 bubble. His game fits Aronimink very well in this current form and I am predicting at least another top ten from Matsuyama.
Tyrrell Hatton: (7,700)
Hatton is on the verge of winning a tournament very soon. In his first try at TPC Boston, he gained 6.3 strokes total and finished T12. He had one of the best rounds of the week, with an eight under 63 on Saturday and who knows what would have happened if he didn’t post a final round 73 on Monday, which was his only round over par for the week. After this, he has made eight cuts in a row, with six top 20s in this run. Over his last 12 rounds, he ranks in the top five in SGT2G, SG APP, GIR, bogeys avoided, and SG on par fours. (via Fantasy National)
His ball striking has just been phenomenal and if he can put together a solid week of putting, like he did last week (2.1 SGP), Hatton has top ten upside at this course, which is the kind of finish he needs if he wants to make his debut at East Lake. (currently 54th in The FedEx Cup Standings)
CT Pan: (6,900)
Pan has been a target of mine through these first two Playoff events and with his price staying under $7,000, I don’t see how you don’t attack him again at The BMW. He has made 11 of his last 12 cuts, with a T2 at The Wyndham, T60 at The Northern Trust, and a T4 at The Dell Technologies, being his last three starts. His T4 last week vaulted him up 39 spots in the standings, to 33rd, making another respectable finish needed if he wants to qualify for The Tour Championship. In that finish at TPC Boston, he was dialed in with his irons, ranking T7 in GIR, and was dominate on the par fours, leading the entire in scoring on these holes, at -11. Now, he ranks 1st in SG on par fours and 1st in SG on par fours that specifically fall between 400-450 yards, when we compare all of these golfers last 12 rounds.
He also ranks 10th in SGT2G, 15th in ball striking, 20th in BOB%, and 11th in bogeys avoided during that span. (via Fantasy National) He hasn’t been the best putter this season (130th in SGP), but last week, he gained strokes on the greens for the first time in five events. This clearly is a small sample, but as we all know, putting can be a streaky thing, so, this could possibly be a small sign that he is finding a rhythm with his flat stick right now. His 80/1 odds to win (via Bovada) are the best in the field for a player under $7,000, making Pan easily one of the best value plays of the week.
Brooks Koepka: (10,500)
At the top, Brooks stands out as the best value in my opinion. The form is just spectacular (T5, 1st, T8, and T12) and this is a $500 price drop from last week. He has gained 9.8 strokes in his last three starts, which is only trailing DeChambeau during this stretch. He is at 14/1 to win (via Bovada) and if his putter can get hot, Koepka could easily be right back in the winner’s circle this weekend.
Tony Finau: (9,500)
Finau continued his awesome season this past weekend at TPC Boston, ranking T2 in GIR and finishing T4th at The Dell Technologies. This was his fourth top ten in his last six starts. In his last 24 rounds he ranks 8th in SG total, 3rd in SG on par fours, 10th in SG on par fours that range from 400-450 yards, 6th in GIR, 5th in BOB%, and 5th in DD. (via Fantasy National) He is almost a lock for a top 20 and I wouldn’t rule out another a top five for Finau as he makes his run up the standings. (4th)
Jordan Spieth: (9,400)
Just like with Matsuyama, Spieth slowed down during the middle of the year, but he is now trending up at the right time. He has made six cuts in a row and has finished inside the top 25 in his last three starts, helping him to creep inside the top 30 of the standings. He is now at 27th and is in need of another strong performance this weekend to make it to The Tour Championship for the sixth season in a row. He has gained 6.2 strokes total in his last three events, behind 3.3 SGP, good enough to rank him 8th in the stat over his last 12 rounds. (via Fantasy National) With his putter heating up, I think this is the time to hop back on Spieth.
Rafael Cabrera-Bello: (8,300)
As I talked about last week in my sleepers, RCB’s one bad round (77) at The Northern Trust was nothing to worry about, as he shot under par in all four rounds at TPC Boston, helping him to a T7 finish. In his last six starts, he hasn’t missed a cut and has finished in the top 20 four times. In the last 12 rounds, he ranks 9th in GIR and 10th in BOB%. (via Fantasy National) He is on the outside looking in right now (37th in points) and will be looking to make some noise this week at Aronimink.
Gary Woodland: (7,800)
Woodland needs to have a strong showing, if he wants to move on in these playoffs. (30th in FedEx points) Last week, he put up a T24 at The Dell Technologies and this was his ninth made cut in a row. His ball striking has stayed elite, averaging 6.7 SGT2G in his last five starts. He finished T47th here in 2011, which obviously isn’t very exciting, but having some experience at Aronimink is an advantage that most of these players don’t have. This time around, I think Woodland posts a top 30, which would be his sixth in his last nine events.